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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William and Jayne du Plooy

I have photos of Jayne's recently deceased father in his time with the Conscript ARMY[ca 1951-1953]. Photos are of 55th Training Regiment (Royal Artillery Tom Faunac) 9th Counter Bombardment Staff Troop RA. I am not sure if his unit was attached to the Wiltshire Regiment or not, but I thought you might be interested in his photos at Munsterlager etc. {Please send us an e-mail if you wish for us to supply you with scanned copies]. With very best wishes to you all. PS: Have you thought about using social newtworking Pages such as facebook to raise your profile in the public eye?

Curator's Comment:

Dear William and Jayne. Again thank you for the kind offer of photographs but this time I would sadly have to decline your offer. As Jane's father served in the Royal Artillery may I suggest you try the Royal Artilly Museum that is known as the Firepower Museum. Web Site www.firepower.org.uk or email: info@firepower.org.uk Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

William and Jayne du Plooy

We previously submitted a comment to the thread details as follows "William and Jayne du Plooy 23-Jul-2010 (12:30pm)" I need to update the records as we have had great assitance from Chris Baker of the http://www.fourteeneighteen.co.uk/ research organisation, which pointed to some errors in our previous comments. My wife's Great-Grandfather was (Pte. Henry THOMAS - Serv No. 11121) served in the Wiltshire Regiment (2nd Battalion - 7th Division, 21st Brigade) during the Great War from 3/11/1914, until his being KIA 26/09/1915 at the Battle of LOOS; between VERMELLES towards andnear CITIES ST ELIE - on the second day of enagements. He was born on his father's HIGHFIELD Farm ca 1892, adjacent to TETBURY, Gloucestershire. In 1911 his parents and he lived on the BLUNSDON HILL (HIGHWORTH/SWINDON)where he was an Agricultural Labourer. His detials are with the CWGC website: http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=1770565 We now know that he had earned the 1914 Star with Clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. We have obtained replicas for these untill we can find the originals. We currently have a copy of his Medal Card, a Scanned Copy of a photo of him in his uniform and photos of memorials here in SWINDON Area (Stratton St. Margaret Parish Church of England and Broad Blunsdon War Memorial), if you are interested in these. [Do you have an e-mail account that we can send these to? I am an SPVA Disablement Pensioner and find it difficult to get out and about so e-mail is best - sorry.] We shall be most willing to share any non-copyrighted items with you and also to find out if any copyrighted items may be shared with your museum. [If you wish to ask Chris Baker whom we have received the research from, for the same - please feel free to ask him to ask us to grant permission.] Yours in willing sacrifice for Liberty and Justice. -------------- [Response to Curator's Comment]: William and Jayne, We would certainly be interested in the scanned photos of him, and of his medal index cards. [Please let me know which e-mail address to send these to.] Try searching the Museum's Collection to see if we have images of interest to you. [Roger - will do again]

Curator's Comment:

Dear William and Jane, Thank you very much for posting these details on Jane's Great Grandfather. The email address to send any attachements is curator@thewardrobe.org.uk Look forward to receiving the information and images. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell

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