AS the nation marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when 2,700 British soldiers were killed on June 6, 1944, it's a sobering thought that at the Battle of Worcester on September 3, 1651, more than 3,200 combatants died in a single day.

In addition, thousands more were wounded, disabled or died later of their injuries.

For weeks if not months, the bodies of the dead lay festering around the Faithful City, bringing disease and infection.

The English Civil War may have been over, but the cost of the conflict was certainly not. 

On Thursday, June 20, the Battle of Worcester Society will hold a talk in the Commandery by Dr Ismini Pells of Leicester University titled, "Civil War Petitions, Stories of Maimed Soldiers, War Widows and the Human Cost of War."

Dr Pells is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and manager of the project “Welfare, Conflict and Memory during the English Civil War."

BoWS chairman Richard Shaw said: “More than 84,000 soldiers were killed during the nine years of the Civil War and it is estimated that over 100,000 men women and children died of war related diseases and starvation.”

How and where the massive number of Civil War dead were buried has long intrigued historians, but there appears no definitive answer.

Writing on an internet blog, history student Sarah Taylor, who has researched the subject, says: “Overall, the evidence is very patchy: certainly some of the dead were buried in churches following a battle, while others seem to have been buried on the battlefield.

"It is not certain that both of these things occurred at all battles, though. The character or nature of a battle could certainly have had an impact.

“Much of the Battle of Worcester, for example, was fought within the town; while church records note that lots of those who were killed in the town were then buried in churches in the town, so the location of a battle may have had an influence on where the dead were buried, as might the number of bodies.

"If there were lots, then we might expect that more of the dead were buried on the battlefield simply because it was too difficult to move so many bodies to a church which would not have had the space anyway.

“Sadly, the lack of detail in the historical sources makes it difficult to say much and it seems only with more archaeological finds will we truly start to understand where the dead were buried and why.”

While a fellow blogger adds: “The winners would most likely have buried their own dead in mass graves.

"They would also have collected up all weapons and serviceable clothing from the dead on the losers side.

"Whether or not the losers’ dead were buried would be left to any survivors.

"If not, the dead and wounded sometimes, would just be left to rot until locals decided to do something about it. Usually after the wildlife had had their share and the stench had died down.”

Dr Pells’ talk begins at 7pm on Thursday, June 20 and the Commandery Cafe will be open until then.

Tickets are £7 for adults; £5 for Battle of Worcester Society members and £3 for students. They can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre at the Guildhall, the Commandery Shop, online at or on the door on the night.