Page 245 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 245

This year has been a busy period for the Rifles in the county with all the Regimental pillars present playing a full and active part. We have taken part in World War One Centenary events and the period has seen commemorations and community engagement. Meanwhile the Reserves, Cadets and Association have ensured ‘The Bugle’ has been seen and heard throughout the County.
In October, Ross-on-Wye Branch of the Royal British Legion arranged a memorial Service for Lance Corporal Steven (Shirley) Sherwood 1 RGBWLI who was killed in Afghanistan in October 2005. A graveside commemoration also took place at Lea Churchyard on the Herefordshire/ Gloucestershire border where the County Colonels from both Herefordshire and Gloucestershire were present. July saw the 10th anniversary of the death of Rfn William Aldridge in Afghanistan with 2 Rifles. William was the youngest casualty in Afghanistan. Bromyard Royal British Legion acknowledged this and the Rifles flag flew in Bromyard on the 10 July in Remembrance. William’s mother and his two brothers were in attendance.
Hugh Vernon, formerly RGJ, initiated a plan to name local footpaths in his village of Eardisland in memory of the 13 First World War soldiers commem- orated on the village’s War Memorial. These names include two from The Herefordshire Regiment and one from The Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. Each walk is marked with stiles and gates made of Herefordshire oak and a brass plaque identifies the soldier after who the walk is named.
On 11 November the county held a service in the
cathedral where 3,215 poppy petals were dropped
from the tower one for each Herefordshire life lost
in World War One. Losses from The Hereford-
shire Regiment were represented by 525 poppy
petals. After the Armistice in November 1918, the
Regimental Colours of the Herefordshire Regiment
were withdrawn from Hereford Cathedral (where
they had been deposited in August 1914) and went
to the Regiment based with the Army of Occupation
in The Rhineland. As soldiers were demobilised the
battalion reduced in size, eventually becoming a
cadre and then the few remaining men being trans-
ferred to a composite battalion. This was the signal
for the Colours to be returned to England. They
travelled to England and the Colour Party arrived in
Catterick in late May 1919. They were then sent by
train to Hereford, but were due to arrive in the city
in the early hours which was considered too early
for a civic reception; the Colour Party was taken
off the train at Leominster, entertained to breakfast
by the Town Council in a local hotel and eventually
re-entrained for arrival in Hereford at a more civilised
hour. The return of the Colours signified the end to
the Regiment’s mobilsed service in The First World
War. This was the kernel of an idea which ended
with the Rifles exercising the Freedom Rights in both
Leominster and Hereford on 29th June 2019. The
parades were both superb, on the warmest day of
the year to date, and the combined Waterloo and
Salamanca Bands and Bugles ended a long day by
delivering an excellent Sounding of Retreat in Suvla
Barracks. At the Sounding of Retreat, C (Rifles)
Company Hereford & Worcester ACF paraded   the High Sheriff.
Leominster Freedom
        Dedication of Eardisland Memorial Walk
   their Battalion Standards to symbolise the return of the Herefordshire Regimental Colours 100 years before and the end of the County’s First World War centenary commemorations.
Sounding Retreat Suvla Barracks
   In February, under the auspices of WMRFCA a Community/Employer Engagement ‘Bugle Breakfast’ was held in Suvla Barracks with over 70 people attending. The event included The Royal National College for the Blind and Hereford & Worcester Chamber of Commerce signing the Armed Forces Covernant.
In March, The Herefordshire Light Infantry Officers Dinner Club held their 52nd Annual Dinner in Suvla Barracks, numbers were strong and were delighted to entertain the HM Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire The Dowager Countess of Darnley and Nat Hone

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