31st October 1914 – Stemming the German tide – Battle of Gheluvelt

On 31st October 1914, 375 battle-weary officers and men of the Worcestershire Regiment at the Belgian village of Gheluvelt were all that stood between the Kaiser’s victorious army and the channel ports.

Defeat would have cut off the British expeditionary probably forcing the allies to surrender.

Against overwhelming odds the Worcesters who had already sustained heavy losses, bravely charged over open fields under intense fire to the heavily defended Gheluvelt Chateau where there was fierce hand-to-hand fighting. Eventually, the Germans retreated. The British line had held and the tide was turned, but 187 of the Worcesters were killed or wounded.

With access to the unique archives of the Worcester Regiment, military historian Dr Spencer Jones, explains how this remarkable engagement took place.

KEYWORDS: World War I, Gheluvelt, Worcestershire Regiment, Worcestershire, Spencer Jones

In Military, World War 1, Worcestershire,

Stemming the Tide

Spencer Jones

The British Expeditionary Force of 1914 was described by the official historian as "incomparably the best trained, best organised, and best equipped British Army that ever went forth to war." The BEF proved its fighting qualities in the fierce battles of 1914 and its reputation has endured. However, the same...

Courage Without Glory

The year 1915 was one of unprecedented challenges for the British Army. Short of manpower, firepower and experience, the army needed time to adapt before it could hope to overcome the formidable German defences of the Western Front. Yet the insistent demands of coalition warfare required immediate and repeated action....


Presented by:

Spencer Jones

Directed by:

Sean Griffiths

Thanks to:

Mercian Regiment Museum, John Paddock, John Lowles, Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, Pathé News