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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Chris Coode

A great and helpful site. Thanks. I am after some info, any info on a William Francis Lewis, number 4080039. I am visiting his grave next month. Thanks again. Chris

Curator's Comment:

Dear Chris, If you have the details of his grave you will know he was serving in the 4th Battalion the Wiltshire Regiment. If you remain on our web site, click onto the Research Bar and select War Diaries, once on the home page of the War Diaries select the World War II tab. Then from Regiment Drop Down menu select 4th Wiltshire, under the Day drop down menu select 26, under the month drop down menu select April and under the year menu select 1945. That will give you the details of the engagement he was involved in. With regards to his service records one would need to approach the Historic Disclosures at MOD. Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Adminstrator

Graeme Petterwood

As another descendant of Pte. Joseph Allen 1st Battalion, 62nd Wiltshire Regiment of Foot - who served from Sept 1807 - May 1824 and ended up in Tasmania, (Van Diemen's Land) as an overseer of convicts with the 1st. Company Royal Veterans - attached to 73rd. Black Watch Regiment.Joseph Allen's daughter Mary-Ann (age 15) married a pardoned 34y.o. convict, William Robert Taylor, and their offspring produced many Tasmanian dynasties...

Curator's Comment:

Dear Graham, Thank you very much for that interesting snippet of family history relating to the 62nd Wiltshire Regiment, we will add it to the archives. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator

Christopher DUFF

My great-grandfather, Quarter-Master Patrick Duff, served with the 66th Regiment of Foot in Ireland, Canada and Gibraltar. He was born in Lucan, Dublin and signed up soon after his 18th birthday on 18th March 1826. He was discharged in October 1847 because he was unfit for service as he was suffering from chronic rheumatism. He went back to Dublin and in 1849/50 married and had a daughter Catherine Mary. It is possible he may have joined the Dublin Militia, but he certainly became a member of the Cavan Militia in 1855, where he was appointed Quarter-Master. He left Cavan around 1865/66 and became a sergeant & clerk in the army pensions office at Castle Barracks, King John's Castle, Limerick. He retired in 1881 with the rank of Barracks-Master and died in 1886. I have just spent 35 Pounds with the research dept. hoping to find out more about my great-grandfather, because I don't know who his parents were and I don't know which battalion he belonged to. Chris Duff in Canada

Curator's Comment:

Christopher, Your entry contains interesting information and I have checked to see if the Archive department (two volunteers), have received your enquiry, which they have confirmed, and they are researching as I type. I notice that he became member of the Cavan Militia and then became a Sgt & Clerk in the Army Pension Office at Castle Barracks Limerick. When the Republic of Ireland came into being in 1922, I believe I am correct in saying the records in Ireland, regarding births, marriages and death of British Army personnel that took place in southern Ireland remained the property and Archives of the Republic. If our regimental records fail to provide any answers to you search it may be worth trying the Republic of Ireland's Archives. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell; Guest Book Administrator

Shirley Davis

I have just started to research my family history and am trying to find out which Wiltshire Regiment my maternal grandfather was in. He was Thomas Arthur Brewer dob 1893/94 born in Corsham Wilts and living at Trowbridge Wilts in 1911 aged 17. He was gassed and shell-shocked on the Somme 1st July 1916 and invalided out to a military hospital somewhere. There is no-one left alive to tell me anything about his war record and I am new to this so don't know where to look. Can you help? With kind regards Shirley Davis

Curator's Comment:

Dear Shirley, I am afraid that we do not answer enquiries via the Guestbook pages, we need you to place an online Research Enquiries Page. A very quick check of our data shows a Thomas Edward Brewer served in 2nd Wilts and the Ancestry web site shows a Thomas Brewer who started in the Wiltshire Regiment but then moved to the Labour Corps. There were a total of 25 Brewers whose only Regiment was the Wiltshire Regiment, of which as I say we have some data but only one with Thomas as a Christian name. So he may have been transferred into another Regiment. Michael Cornwell - Guestbook Adminstrator

Owen Dadge

Back on 29th Aug 2010 I commented on Sheldon Attley 4th Wilts having wrong date of death on cwgc. Have just received his death certificate proving it was 11th July 1944 & will be letting cwgc know so they can have his details corrected. Just thought I'd let you know that after 4 years I'm doing something about it.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Owen, Thank you for providing those details and well done for sticking at it. I will ensure that the corrected date of death is passed on to our own archivist. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator

ROSS PHINN

I have just received your response to my query regarding my father, Maurice Phinn, wounded, captured and repatriated after 3rd Ypres. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and breadth of information supplied, far more than I could reasonably have expected. My sincere thanks to Chris Bacon and the Group for their efforts on my behalf. With their assistance I shall continue down the Long,Long Trail. Sincerely Ross Phinn Buderim Australia

Curator's Comment:

Dear Ross, Many thanks for your Guest Book entry complimenting Chris Bacon and his Archive team on their detailed response to your online enquiry. It is nice to receive positive feedback. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell Guest Book Administrator

Max Double

It may be of interest to know that a wreath is to be laid tomorrow (26 Aug 2014) at the grave of Pte George Henry Allin 1st Royal Berkshires in Maroilles Communal Cemetery France 100 years to the day from his death in action at Le Pont d'Hachette just outside the village. The wreath is to be laid by a great niece accompanied by her family.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Max, Thank you for the information, and from everyone connected with the museum, we hope the weather stayed fine and that the family was able to commemorate his sacrifice fittingly. As an aside if anyone would like to send us any images from the occasion it would be appreciated. Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Coordinator

Andrew Clements

I am researching the army career of my grandfather, 6348 John Clements, 2nd Wilts Regt, and am puzzled by the fact that his regimental number suggests he joined the regiment in mid-1903, when he would have been just fourteen years old. I understood that the minimum age to join the army pre-WWI was 18 years. Did “Boy Soldiers” exist at the turn of the 20th Century, and if so, what was their role within the regiment? Also, what criteria would have been used to decide whether or not a Sergeant was allowed to have his family accompany him on a long overseas posting (in John’s case, three years in China)? Did the “rank” of Bandsman confer special privileges, or was there some sort of random selection system, like a lottery? Can anyone enlighten me, please?

Curator's Comment:

Dear Andrew, Starting with the question of wives accompanying the husbands. If we take 1660 as the beginning of the professional Army in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries a certain number of wives were permitted to accompany their husbands and as a result the accompanying spouses and the offspring would be of the official ration strength of the Regiment. If the husband died in action or from a dread disease the family would remain of the ration strength for a short period and often within that period the widow would find another regimental soldier to re-marry and thus remain on the Ration Strength. In the same centuries every Infantry Regiment had a specific number of Junior Drummers and the youngest age for this appointment was 14. Often sons of serving soldiers would be the source of many Junior Drummers. Bandsman played music for the Regiment so they would have to be able to read and play music. Once battle had been joined the Bandsmen secondary role would often be stretcher bearer. Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Coordinator

Lynne Hardy

Last year I visited Myanmar. I went to the war graves cemetery just outside Yangon. My grandfather, who was in the Royal Berks 2nd division, is remembered there. I also went to Mandalay near where he died. Near the top of Mandalay hill is a stone memorial tablet to commemorate the taking of Mandalay by the 2nd div. Would you like me to send you some photos of these two places for your records? The Mandalay hill memorial stone needs some TLC, but the cemetery was beautifully kept. I love this website and the museum, thank you to all involved.

Curator's Comment:

Lynne, thank you for the offer of those photographs of you visit Yangon and Mandalay. Yes we would very much appreciate any images you can send. If you email me at Researcher3@thewardrobe.org.uk, I'll see that they become of the museum collections and will eventually become part of the online collection at the next web update in Nov/Dec 2014. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest book Administrator

Alison Phillips

My greatgrandfathers brother was killed in Action on 12 March 1915. According to the CWGC website he was in the 2nd battalion Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment) Army number 11996 name of Sydney Crow. How he came to be in the Wiltshire Regiment I don't know as he was from East Ham in London but I do have a a photograph of him in his uniform. If you wish and if it's possible for me to do so I could send this photo to you electronically via email to add to your collection.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Alison We would love to have a digital copy of the photograph your great grandfather's brother. If you e-mail it to Researcher3@thewardrobe.org.uk we can accession the image and eventually have it appearing on the web site, though please be aware we usually update the newly accessioned items once a year, usually in December. As you may appreciate many men joined the Army in 1945/15 as a result of the recruiting campaign by Lord Kitchener, the one with him pointing his finger at the intended audience with the words "your Country needs you". The recruiting campaign was so successful that many men found themselves in Regiments that had little or no geographical association with where they lived. Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator