i Guestbook - The Wardrobe housing The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum


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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Latest Entries

Kay Sparkes

Dear Sir, i am trying to find Pte THOMAS RYDER 16836 Royal Berks Reg. Labour Corp. I have copies of his medal Card but cannot find his service history online as there are so many Thomas Ryders on there. Any help would be gratefully received.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Kay, The recruiting in the First World War had reached such a stage that after raising the Pals or Kitchener Battalions, the men recruited thereafter joined regimetnal Labour Battalions and eventually the Regimental Labour Battalions formed part of the Labour Corps. We have tried our data base and cannot find anything on him; and as you probably know by now very few First World War Service Record survived as they were destroyed in the Second World War. Your may want to think about trying the Musuem of the Royal Logistic Corps as the Labour Corps is a forerunner of the RLC. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

Bill Ashby

Thank you for your helpful reply. Please could you tell me where I can find the account of Captain Bonds return from Dunkirk which you mentioned.

Curator's Comment:

Bill, You will know by now that the book is out of print, but your recent telphone conversation has resolved the issue and we have photocopied the relevant pages for you at a price. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

moira gray

I have a birth cert from 1918...The father of the child John Charles Webster was a Private in the 1st Wiltshire Regiment..he was a "Stage Manager"... I would like to know if it was possible for him to be a Stage Manager in the army or was it civilian life??? Obviously if it was in the army would there be any photos either at the museum or in any books....I would be grateful for any information you have. Thankyou

Curator's Comment:

Dear Moira, I think that you will find that the Satge Manager was he profession in ghis civilian life. I am afraid we have no known photgraph's of hime. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

Matt Gunning

Dear Wardrobe, If possible could anyone please tell me what are the origins of the Maroon square (4th wilts) & the Blue square (5th wilts), as worn on WWII battle dress uniform. As a member of the 4th Wilts living history group, and ex 1st Btn D.E.R.R, I really should know already, ( I have no excuse\'s and will except your punishment). This request is so that we can educate members of the public with historically correct info when asked during the up and coming reenactment/living history season. If required I can submit an archival request. Thanks

Curator's Comment:

Dear Matt, To be utterly honest I am not sure of the origins. I know the the 4th Battalion worn a maroon square behind their cap badge as well as on the sleeve of their battle dress jacket. We also know that after the second world war the 1st Battlion changed the way the maronn patch was sewn into the beret so they worn a maroon diamond behind the badge. Why it was maroon for the 4th and Blue for the 5th I am not sure and rather than display the half truths I think may be possible starters, I will find out. The chances are the someone will ping in with the answer just to show the curator up; but at least you and I may find out the real answer. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell;

Bill Ashby

Would the Adjutant at the Wiltshire Depot have been allocated to a Bn? Captain I.W.Benson took over from Captain C.F.G. Bond who went over to France as OC 'D' Coy 2nd Wilts. He returned via Portcawl on 10 June 1940 with 3 Officers and 58 men. The Bn had already returned by then. Why were they delayed? Both Officers eventually were recruited into Auxiliary Units, Churchill's secret Resistance Organisation. Any information appreciated

Curator's Comment:

Bill, Officers would be appointed to to a position possibly for a period of time initially, but if circumstances dictated they could be moved earlier than originally planned to assume a higher appointment. The Adjtuant of the Depot would be an important post and whilst he was Adjutant of the Depot he would not be attached to any particular Battalion. For example he may have taken up the appointment as Depot Adjutant having come from the 1st or 2nd battalion. Having completed his tour, he would normally expect to go back in a more senior appointment to his former Battalion. However war time would change that and on relinquishing the post of Depot Adjutant he could have gone to one of the TA battalions, 4th or 5th as a Company Commander. The only way we will know for certain is from his Service records, which neither the museum or the Regimental HQ hold. They are still the property of the MOD but one can ask for an individual's service record from the Army Personnel Centre. See our "Useful Links" - Researching Individuals - Veterans UK. With regards to Captain C F G Bond,we have an account of him crossing back from Dunkirk on the night of 31 May 1940 and in fact the 2nd Battalion returned only 270 strong but found themselves dispersed in groups all over the UK. It was not until 18 Jun that the 270 became a formed body. Hope that helps a little. If you need any further information I am afraid you will have to submit an enquiry. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

Steve John

Hello I notice you have in your posession- SBYRW : 74 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regiment - Military Medal awarded to Private L A Williams at an unknown date. Inscribed: 10787 Private L A Williams 1/Wilts R. I have in my posession this soldiers 15 Star/BWM and Death Plaque. Do you know the whereabouts of his Victory medal!Regards

Curator's Comment:

Steve, Sadly we do not. As you may be aware the MM, instigated in 1916 were awarded after the citation had been approved. The Cmapaign medlas were not struck until in 1920. It is quite possible therefore that different members of the family inherited the Campaign Medal and the Dead Man's Penny whilst somerone else received the MM. Yours Aye Michael Cornwel

David Beasley

My father Sergeant Cyril "Basher" Beasley fought with 4th Royal Beaks in France in 1940 , he was evcuated from La Panne. I am trying to trace his movements up yo the evacuation has anyone info on him.

Curator's Comment:

David, There aren't many of those who fought at Dunkirk around any more. The accounts in th Regimental History by Gordon Blight would show your the routes the Royal Berkshire Regiment fought over and there are a few pages giving accounts of what happened, but that is all. As you will see from the enquiries web page we will answer enquiries but as that takes time and resources we do ask for a donation. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

Paul Harris

Michael, Thank you so much. We are now in touch ! Paul.

Curator's Comment:

Paul, Glad to be of service, this is one of the objectives of the search vehicle on the Guestbook; to allow contact to be made betwenn people with similar interests. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell



Curator's Comment:

Terence Your father's full service record, which would hold the type of details you are talking of, are still held by the Army. You need to write to the following: Historic Disclosures, Mail Point 400, Army Personnel Centre, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX. When you write include all the details you have provided on this guestbook entry. Also include a copy of the passport page with you photograph if you have one. Explain whether or not you are the nearest Next of kin, if you are they may provide the information gratis, if not they will charge you for it. Please bear in mind that the Army Personnel Centre's prime responsibility is for adminstering the present day serviceman and theri dependents, so this will not be as important to them as it is to you.

Alan Fereday

I have only just read a request from Bjorn Fredriksson dated 2008 regarding information about my late father Leslie Fereday, Bandmaster Wiltshires 1947 to 1961. I have sent a reply to an email that may be out of date. Could my contact details be forwarded please. sales@feredaycars.co.uk 01276 21007 07796 298361

Curator's Comment:

Alan, I doubt if the email address we have is any different that the one you used, but I will check and if it is different I will forward your email address on. In the meantime we have to hope that publishing this guestbook entry will either be brought to Bjorn attention or that he finds it himself. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell