Page 189 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
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   The RIFLES Museum (Berkshire and Wiltshire) in Salisbury continues much as before; we are located in the historic building known as The Wardrobe, near to Salisbury Cathedral. We hold artefacts, memorabilia and records from the Royal Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiments, as well as the four Regiments of Foot from which they were formed in 1881. These two Regiments amalgamated to become the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment in 1959 and joined the RIFLES family on formation of the Regiment in 2007.
This year we have had a change of staff (Manager and Assistant Curator) and a new Temporary Exhibition which marks the 75th anniversary of victory in Burma (the “Forgotten War”) 1944.
In June, we hosted B Coy of 5RIFLES who were involved in the Armed Forces Day parade through Salisbury. It was an extremely hot day so the cool shade of our historic building and garden were much appreciated. We had a presence at the Armed Forces event itself, sharing a pitch with the RIFLES Recruiting Team.
It is our strong intention to strengthen our links to the serving Regiment at every opportunity. Serving military are welcomed to the museum free of charge so we look forward to seeing you soon. We have also been running family events this summer, for enjoyment of civilian and military families alike.
Herefordshire Light Infantry Museum
At the AGM of the Friends of the Museum, in October, local Radio BBC Hereford and Worcester reporter Nicola Goodwin gave a fascinating talk about her time as the Radio’s lead for World War One Centenary Commemorations. She spoke about Verdun oaks, Blessed Villages and the importance of female workers to the war effort, especially at the Munitions Factory at Rotherwas, Hereford. This led to Nicola’s wider involvment and interest spreading to munition workers in the Second World War. Nicola’s efforts resulted in BAE Systems (the successors of Royal Ordnance) presenting badges to surviving workers, and Nicola took a group of ex-Munition workers to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister.
The Museum’s small band of volunteers continues to provide excellent support while keeping the story of the ‘Herefords’ alive. The Museum hosts visitors in groups and as individuals and has delivered ten outreach presentations to local interest groups. Individuals with an interest in The Herefords (including descendants) continue to contact us and artefacts and information are added to the Museum’s archives. Accessions have been diverse and appear from many sources. It never ceases to amaze the volunteers that new photographs are constantly appearing.
One interesting item was the collection of Claude William Hull, who was the brother of the organist at Hereford Cathedral. Whilst in the Hereford Rifle Volunteers he had volunteered for service in South Africa during the BOER war with the Volunteer Service Company of the KSLI. He was awarded the Queens South Africa medal for this, but also included was a Christmas greeting for 1901 written in canvas - thought to be part of a tent! In the early years of the last century he emigrated to Canada, and in August 1914 enlisted in the Canadian Artillery. He was Commissioned and returned to Canada, an ill man in 1918 and subsequently died and was buried in Canada. His 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory medal together with his Memorial Plaque were included in the donation.
It is always pleasing to receive original paperwork, and when this relates to everyday item it was often discarded and examples are few. Amongst a recent donation was the TA lapel badge and issue voucher to 4104624 Pte T Powell dated July 1938. The museum also received a copy of a
letter written by Dr Albert Speer which spoke about his capture by The Herefordshire Regiment in Flensberg in May 1945.
The Museum was fortunate to be part of the pilot LIBOR Digitsation project. This project was run by AMOT and saw LIBOR funds being allocated
for the digitzation of military museum’s First World War collections. We were able to
digitise photographs, maps,
diaries and accounts and
some nominal rolls, which
came in a variety of mediums
from scrap books and loose photographs to bound volumes.
The result is excellent and has provided an accessible record without risk of damage to the originals.
Perhaps the saddest and most poignant acquisition this year has been the Herefordshire Light Infantry cap badge taken from the gates of Copthorne Barracks. Thousands of soldiers passed throught the Barrack gates as the KSLI Depot, the Light Division Depot and latterly as HQ of 143 (West Midlands) Brigade and HQ 5th Division. All would have seen this badge and its partner badge - that of the KSLI (which has remained in Shrewsbury). In March the Barracks were demolished; an era has passed!
Claude William Hull - Christmas Greeting
 Albert Speer - Captured by The Herefords

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