Page 214 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
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  Lord Lieutenant Durham with children of St Margaret’s School celebrate the life
of Helena Rosa Duncombe Shafto OBE 1854-1938
Helena Rosa Duncombe Shafto OBE 1854-1938
A note from the Lord Lieutenant Mrs Sue Snowdon:
“I had a super morning at Durham Town Hall, when I joined the Friends of the DLI, Freemen of Durham and pupils from St Margaret’s School at a very special event organised to celebrate the life and achievements of a very special Durham lady, Helena Rosa Duncombe Shafto OBE 1854-1938.”
Mrs Shafto was the very first woman to be given the Freedom of the City. She was appointed the first woman Justice of the Peace in the City. Her life saving work for soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry who were imprisoned during the First World War is much documented. She organised food parcels
and gathered other items which would bring some comfort to the men. She had on her books the names of 4,539 men who were prisoners and who received help as a result of her efforts. After the war she continued to support physically and mentally injured veterans. She was a very special lady who gave so much to the regiment and Durham.
The Friends of the DLI are volunteers who give their time to help members of the public research family members and they also assist the DLI staff in the conservation of DLI artefacts. Today the children were immersed in their research about Mrs Shafto and her life. Helped by members of the Association and staff from the DLI Collection they built her family tree, examined the contents of a Red Cross parcel, and tried to blow the bugle !!!. Great activities which we all enjoyed. I know the experience will have given the young people of today a real understanding of the courage and contribution of many who gave their lives for us.
        Final DLI Officers Dinner Club Dinner & Service – 08 & 09 June 2019
 Members of the DLI Officers Dinner Club with their ladies met at the Cathedral Hotel in Lichfield on Saturday 08 June 2019 for their final organised DLI Officers Dinner. The Dinner Club has been in existence since 1864. Tim Kirk, President of the Dinner Club said in a letter to the members, “It is so sad to call time on our formal meetings, but the many letters I have received from those not able to attend demonstrates how difficult travel is for our ageing memberships. So best to end on a high note whilst we still can. I very much hope that we can continue to meet at other occasions, and the Annual Light Infantry Lunch in July, seems a good alternative, especially as so many of our “younger” members served with them. A DLI table or two there would be an excellent extension to our Club.” He also briefed the members and their ladies of the service at the DLI Korea Bugle Statue at the National Memorial Arboretum the next day. He said “Lawrence Anderson has arranged the meet and
greet, transport for those who require it, a Memorial Service and a good snack afterwards.” Tim also said “It is sad for me to be your “last” President and be responsible for our finale, but very much hope we can all keep in touch and cherish our many memories,” stay “Faithful”.
The service was conducted at the DLI Statue at the NMA by Kenneth Crawford, padre to the DLI Association. A Rifles Bugler sounded “Last Post” and “Reveille” followed after a further moment’s silence by “No more parades today”. Everyone then made their own way, either on foot or by the provided transport to the dining rooms of the NMA where Lawrence Anderson had arranged a private room and breakfast rolls and pastries.
Members had plenty of time to reminisce and say their farewells before returning to their homes in several different counties of the country. “Until they meet again.”
     Organiser of the Service, Col (Retd) Lawrence Anderson with organiser of the Dinner, Maj (Retd) Chris Lawton reflect on both events with sadness

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