Guestbook

Please do not use this Guestbook for archive enquiries.  If you would like information from museum staff regarding past regiments or family research, please look through 'Research Centre' then click on the Enquiries section.

The guestbook is provided for visitors to contribute their views about the site, and to share items of regimental history.

Apart from comments on the site all messages should have a link to our Regiments:–The 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment; The 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment; The 66th (Berkshire) Regiment; The 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment; The (Royal) Berkshire Regiment; The Wiltshire Regiment; The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment; The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment; The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and the people who served in them.

Information about The Gloucestershire Regiment should be directed to The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, Custom House, Gloucester GL1  2HE.

The Guestbook is moderated. All items are sent to the site administrator who will decide if they are suitable for inclusion. There may therefore be a delay of a few days before your message appears.

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David Cooke

Sir just a note to inform you of my fatheres death at 07.30 this morning peacefully in his sleep. Ronald Edward Cooke late of the 1st btn Royal Berkshire Regiment. His story Dad was in France with the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment 6 Brigade he spent his 21st birthday (24th October) on the Belgium border later they retreated to a place called St Venant in northern France where his platoon was guarding a crossroads near a footbridge over the canal when they were hit by there own artillery killing most and wounding Dad he tells me his mate Jonno (the son of a retired Brigadier) died in his arms at the crossroads and he buried him there, after this a forward artillery controller ran up saying how sorry he was they thought the Germans were in that area. Dad was evacuated from Brey sands and returned to England to hospital in Warwick where he knew Jonno,s parents lived so he asked a nurse to get the Brigadier and his wife to come and see him so he could tell them what had happened to there son, after leaving hospital he was told he was not going back to the Royal Berks but was going for Parachute training. He went to RAF Cardington (Home of the airships) and did parachute drops from balloons (yes i know all para training was supposedly done at Ringway but he is adamant). Next he was sent to the South coast at Shorncliff to a small airfield close by and remembers on nights off going to a ballroom overlooking the cliffs and it was from that airfield he made a lot of landings or para drops into occupied Northern France delivering equipment and people to the resistance, i asked him why he was chosen and he said because they wanted people with a knowledge of the area and who spoke fluent French (which until then i did not know he spoke French). Whilst on one of his trips to France he was wounded in the wrist by a Feldgendarme,s MP40 later he was sent to India and somewhere in Burma he was wounded again This is as much as i have been able to get out of him im afraid, he keeps telling me he didnt know who he was working for which i dont believe though apparently many working for MI5 and SOE did not, difficult to prove since most of SOE,s records were destroyed by fire in there offices in Baker street just after the war. Sorry i cant tell you more but i only got this out of him because he asked me to find out if Jonno was buried in a proper cemetary (which i did and he is (Haverskerque) just North of where he was killed and quickly buried.

Curator's Comment:

Dear David, We are sorry to hear of your loss and thank you for the fascinating background that you have provided to his service. We will work with the Regimental Association to pass on the details. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator.

Michael Kew

Sir. For a number of years now, I have been researching my grandfather Dan Kew MC and Bar, DCM, MM who served with both the 1st and 2/4th Battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment during WW1, to this end I have purchased a number of publications from the museum shop which have proved invaluable. It was actually Martin McIntyre who set me off on this journey, never did I think it would be so fascinating, so thanks Mac I am currently trying to establish exactly where Dan won the DCM, I know it was in the area of Greenland Hill near Fampoux and I have his citation and a newspaper account of the incident which may be of interest to your archivers. It is both an interesting and tragic event. According to the War Diary of 2/4th Battalion dated 15/10/1917 - France, Greenland Hill, there is an 'Appendix A' to the entry, I wonder if Appendix A might refer to an Ops Order or Map Reference which may assist me in identifying the exact location I am looking for and I wonder if you have access to Appendix A. It is my intention to pay a visit to the Somme / Arras / Ypres areas next year and whilst most of my research is complete, identifying this location is proving a bit of a problem. if any of my research regarding Dan Kew is of interest to your researchers I would be very happy to share it. Thank you in anticipation. Michael Kew

Curator's Comment:

Micahel, Apologies for the delay in responding but I have been away for a fortnight. We do have the Appendix A for the entry of 15/10/1917. The appendix covers the Operation Order No 105 and a report covering what actually happened. I can find no trace of Dan Kew Being mentioned but if it is locations you are after then the Operation Order will provide that detail I think the easiest thing for me to do is to maintain email contact and discuss how you wish to take this forward. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

Julie Bevan

Nice to see where my grandfathers medals and sword are hopefully we will visit the museum soon.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Julie, Obviously when you visit the Museum is dependent on family travelling arrangements but if you were to email Researcher3@thewardobe.org.uk we might be able to arrange for one of the Regimental Volunteers to be on hand. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator.

Terry Hissey

Hello, I am the Archivist for the Waterloo Band of the Rifles and am writing a paper on the Bands of the Rifles. An annex will be forebear regiment reserve bands. Can you let me know what material you hold on Reserve Bands. I am hopeful a chronology or paper for reference within the Rifles will be the end result.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Terry, Apologies for the tardy response, I have been heavily involved with importing a substantial number of images from the seven Rifles Battalions onto our database. As recompense I am emailing a PDF document which will give you an idea of what we hold. Yours Aye, Michael Cornwell Guest Book Adminstrator

Julia Bateson

My father William Edward Ludford served with the Wiltshires in some difficult places but one he was in charge of was the Victims of Yalta at Newlands Corner and he had the death of those poor people on his conscience until he died. This episode of the war does not appear to be recorded in the Wiltshire's history.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Julia, I apologise that it has taken so long to reply and authorise your guestbook entry, the recent upgrade by our web provider had unwittingly caused a minor blip in the programming and was not allowing my reply to be installed. We may be wrong but Newlands Corner is, I believe in Surrey, and at the end of the Second World War the Wiltshire Regiment had 4 battalions. The 1st were in India, the 2nd were in Goslar, Germany, the 4th and 5th Battalions were also in Germany awaiting return to UK. If your grandfather had been guarding Victims of Yalta in England he may have done so as a Wiltshire Soldier stationed in England. If that were the case the War Diaries would not have recorded that as the battalions were in India or Germany. If your grandfather had guarded the Victims whilst serving with one of the Battalions in Germany, it may well be that it was on a detached duty or because of the sensitive nature of the topic a Public Information black out out may have been imposed. Either way you are right in observing that the regimental history does not record the Regiment as having undertaken any such duties. Yours Aye, Michael Cornwell Guest Book Administrator

Emma Banfield

I visited your museum and this site a couple of years ago but didn't actually sign the guestbook so thought I would do so on this visit. My Great-Great-Grandfather John Lewis and his son John Frederick Lewis were both in the Berkshire regiment. John Frederick was killed in The First World War and John served in Afghanistan and would have been killed in the battle of Maiwand 1880 if he hadn't been in the regiment hospital ill. I see he's been discussed in earlier posts in the guestbook and there's a link to photos of his medals and your curator mentions his Great-Grandson has been in touch, though I'm unsure who as he has a lot of descendants. It was great to visit your museum and see the information you had on Maiwand and we even purchased a book which mentioned him and his family by name which my Nan, his Grand-Daughter, cherishes. Your staff were very helpful and friendly and I hope to come back and visit again in the future.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Emma Many thanks for your detailed guestbook entry. It is always interesting and pleasing to receive visits from relatives of our former soldiers. If on your return visit you are able to give prior warning we could try to provide a guided tour around the museum for you. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell - Guest Book Administrator

Keith Vaughan

Dear Sirs, The entry for SBYRW:42481 and the accompanying image are at utter variance to one another.You may wish to correct the anomaly. K.Vaughan.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Keith, Please forgive the delay in authorising your guestbook entry, the museum has been updating the web site and updating all its PCs to Windows 10 which caused some anomalies on our return from the Christmas break. Thank you for pointing out the error with SBYRW 42481. Once we have located the real image we will carry out the remedial action Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator

Rob Enderink

Hello, I am looking for information about the 4th and the 5th battalion of the wiltshire regiment that fought around October 1944 in Arnhem (Netherlands). The two battalions were at that time at a farm which was called The Laar. Now the area is a residential area (Schuytgraaf). There is a monument that is dedicated to this regiment and the events that has took place. Each year we also have a commemoration. I would like to know how these two battalions were made up, for example an organization chart. Also looking for any tactical positions which they had adopted. I want to make this visible on a map. I will use my reference for my hobby, but i also want to use this to inform people by a kind of battlefield tour. I also would like to see if i can do something for the school in this neighborhood. It would be good if I can involve the youth by letting them know what took place and why it is Important that we commemorate each year. Perhaps the school can play a role during the commemorations. Thanks! Yours sincerely, Rob E (Arnhem, Netherlands) robarnhem74@gmail.com

Curator's Comment:

Dear Rob, The answer to question may lie in the two book on the battalions. One is names "The Maroon Square" and is about the 4th Battalions action throughout 1945, and in particular Chapter VI will cover the period of you concern. The other book is called "The 5th Battalion the Wiltshire regiment in North West Europe" and again the Chapter Vi in this book covers the same period. Both books are available via the web site book shop or you can ask to have an enquiry undertaken for the cost of 35. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell Guest Book Adminstrator

Paul Wooding

Thank you for providing such a rich and fascinating online experience of your museum. I have just spent several hours scouring your photos to see if I could spot any images of my dad: 5679072 W/Cpl Stephen Wooding, 1st Bn Wiltshire Rgt. I have a number of b&w images of his time in services and noticed that an image you have SBYRW : 18858 seems to be a composite image of the Victory Gate overlaid onto another image of a building. Having scanned my fathers photos, would you like me to forward them to you via email? Best regards Major (Rtd) Paul Wooding RLC

Curator's Comment:

Dear Paul, Firstly thank you for the complimentary remarks concerning the museum's website, greatly appreciated. The entry on the Museum's database describes 18858 as 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regiment - A black and white photo of Razmak Bazaar on the North West Frontier of India, suitably decked out for VJ (Victory over Japan) Day in August 1945. With regards to any scanned images from your father's service they would be gratefully received and if by chance your father had named people within any photos we would relish having those names as well. Please forward the scanned images to Researcher3@thewardrobe.org.uk. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator

Tony Roberts

A quick note to say thanks to the archivist. Have just returned from the Arras battlefield where we were able to trace the last steps of my great great grandfather Lance Corporal Millard in 1917. The info / trench maps etc you supplied meant that we could get very close to the point where he fell. Thank you

Curator's Comment:

Tony That is great news and I will certainly pass on your thanks to the Archivist team. Thank you for taking the time to post this entry. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Adminstrator