Page 232 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
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vehicle, not before finding time for a swim in the fast flowing freezing cold Clavera to take away the day’s aches and pains.
I can’t tell you what an enjoyable few days I spent amongst some very special people and I urge anyone to tackle the Chemin de Liberte. The scenery was
undeniably stunning and the sense of camaraderie rare. If you don’t feel up to the entire trek, you can easily do the first and last day. Contact Paul Williams to help you plan dates and accommodation (he also takes private tours all over the Pyranees) and stay at Olivier Crone’s stunningly beautiful B&B in Castillion en Couserans, close to St Girons for a really spoiling night or two before or after your trek. For me it was life enhancing, not changing as I have the Himalayas in my blood but it certainly made me understand why my father had such deep respect for all things SOE during the Second World War.
Paul Williams – trek & accommodation planning -
Residence Crone – spoiling but very reasonably priced B&B for before or after your trek - https:// - + 33 05 61 05 79 58 Pte Carina Evans AGC
      Editor’s note: Inscription on The Rifles wreath laid by Carina Evans on the Chemin de Liberte:
In memory of those members of the Antecedent Regiments of The Rifles who took the Chemin de Liberte and with a special thanks to those that made it possible, often with great danger to themselves, their families and friends. Swift and Bold
Editor’s note: Pte Carina Evans is an AGC Reservist attached to A Coy 7 RIFLES in Abingdon. She is undergoing officer training at LUOTC with a view to commissioning in 2020.
  The Shoolbred Memorial – Paramount Court, University Street London WC1 Unveiling 24 Jul 2019
In early 2019 the London Office of the Rifles was contacted by the Assistant Archivist of HARRODS with a request for help to identify the regimental abbreviations on a memorial board that had been found in the attic of one of their storage buildings along the Thames. They had found a wooden Roll of Honour Board dating back to WW1 which is dedicated to “Members of the House of JAS Shoolbred & Co Ltd who joined the Country’s Armed Forces” for the Great War. Shoolbred’s was a large family run furniture manufacturer and repository located on the Tottenham Court Road and which was taken over by HARRODS in the 1930’s.
This memorial is exceptional as it is not only dedicated to the 26 Shoolbred employees who made the ultimate sacrifice but uniquely also to
those from the House of Shoolbred, who SERVED in the Great War. (We are advised there is only one other memorial that mentions those who also “Served” and that is the Battle of Britain Memorial at Biggin Hill.)
By mentioning those who also SERVED on this memorial the House of Shoolbred, lead by Lt Col Rupert Shoolbred proprietor and former WW1 Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles (QWR), recognised and valued his employees’ deeds and, we venture to suggest, cared for the returnees and offered re-employment and looked after them as an exemplary and caring employer should do.
Other than the QWR Riflemen mentioned on the memorial the great majority of those mentioned served in the Rifles’ other antecedent regiments, namely the Oxf & Bucks LI (OBLI), King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC), Rifle Brigade (RB), Wiltshires, Berkshires, Glocesters, Dorsets and Devon & Cornwall LI.
The rededicated memorial is now located in the foyer of Paramount Court WC1 an up marked block of flats, which up to the 1930s was part of the Shoolbred’s estate.
The House of Shoolbred was inextricably linked with the QWR. In the mid-1800s L Company of the QWR was recruited mostly from the employees of Shoolbred’s and the firm covered all expenses for clothing and equipment, contributed to the fund for building of a QWR Drill Hall at Buckingham Gate and the hire of Child’s Hill Rifles Ranges once a fortnight and allowed their employees paid time off to train and fire their rifles.
CO and RSM 7 RIFLES, Lt Col James Gayner, WO1 (RSM) Martin Wear and Bugler Leicester Brown, formally represented The Rifles and laid a wreath with the inscription:
In proud memory of those of the House of Shoolbred who served in the Antecedent Regiments of their modern-day successor Regiment The Rifles.
The rather hoped for HARRODS hamper did not materialise!!
J-D v M
     L to R: Bugler Leicester Brown, Lt Col James Gayner and WO1 (RSM) Martin
Wear at the re-dedication
of the Shoolbred Memorial, Paramount Court London WC1 on 24 July 2019.
Picture Credit: Rowan Hunn

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