Copyright 2019 - Severnside Parishes

St James' and the Worcestershire Regiment

The regimental depot, being located within the parish boundary, has enjoyed very close ties with the village of Norton Juxta Kempsey and with its church, St James the Great, ever since the occupation of the barracks in 1877.

Unusually, no church was built within the barracks as it has previously been decided that the soldiers should use the village church. Following the building of the barracks, Norton became a garrison village and St James the Great, a garrison church.  As a direct result of that decision, made during the construction of the barracks, which coincided with extensive restoration work at the church, a new south aisle was added to the church in 1875.  On Sundays depot staff and the recruits would muster for church parade and march to Norton Church for the morning service, often accompanied by the Regimental Band.  The vicar of St James was also appointed the official padre to the barracks.


Presentation of Colours to the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Victor Hume Moody (1896–1990)
The City Art Gallery & Museum, The Worcestershire Regimental Museum

The Churchyard at St James’ contains the graves of several old Worcestershire Regiment men who dies while serving at the depot or who settles in the area on completion of their service and lives out the rest of their lives close by, some of them in the village itself.

Inside the church there is a brass tablet to the memory of Captain A.G.M. Graham, who died at Le Touret on 22nd December 1914.  Another commemorates Lieut. Colonel C.F. Wodehouse DSO killed in action at Neuve Chappelle 12 March 1915.  More recently, the remains of Brigadier D.H. Nott, Sgt ‘Curly’ Dalloway and his wife May, Sgt Frank Lester, C/Sgt John Sopp, Bandsman Jack Parkes and others have been laid to rest in Norton churchyard. 

Because of the close connection between the regiment and the church, Battalion colours were laid up in the south aisle:  the 2nd Battalion Colours 1907-1930 were laid up on 14th Sept 1930 and the 3rd (Militia) Battalion Colours 1886-1922 on 21 July 1933.  On the south wall a memorial to men of the regiment was unveiled on 28th October 1949 by Brigadier B.C.S. Clark, the Colonel of the Worcestershire Regiment.  It reads:

“In memory of all the ranks of the Regiment sometime members of the congregation of Norton Church who gave their lives in the Wars 1914-18 and 1939 – 45

The history and development of Norton Barracks

The Worcestershire Regiment dates back to 1694 when Colonel Thomas Farrington, an officer of the Coldstream Guards raised a new regiment in London. It was then the custom for Regiments to be named after their Colonels, and this new Regiment was named Farrington’s Regiment of Foot. This method of naming regiments led to confusion, as regiments were re-named with each Colonel, and it was possible for more than one Colonel, and therefore more than one regiment, to have the same name.

Read more: The history and development of Norton Barracks


Captain, 6th (Reserve) Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment, attached 1st Battalion (47th Foot) The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment; served in the South African War 1901-2, with the 6th Worcestershire Regiment;

Read more: GRAHAM, Alec G.M.

Private Charles William Smith

2nd [3rd on Soldiers Died in the Great War] Battalion Grenadier GuardService No 23957. Killed in action on 26th January 1918

Buried in Fampoux British Cemetery, France, Grave B. 52.

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Contact us

Rev. Mark Badger

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01905 820057

07828 233049


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