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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Robert Fagg

On our visit to Salisbury yesterday we visited your museum as my Father was in the Royal Berkshire Regiment in WW2, on leaving the museum we purchased the Paperback of the regiment and on page 102 was a photograph of T Group, my father is the fourth head from the left (lots of dark hair!!). I believe he was a corporal but not sure and was a signaller as my brother and I used to have his old morse code machine at home. I also used his khaki army issue field map holder which I used doing my final mapping for my geology degree. Great museum and a very happy day to see Dad.

Curator's Comment:

Robert Thank you for putting a name to a face in that photograph, Martin (Mac) McIntyre the author and our Photo Archivist will be delighted. Thank you for the positive comments and for visiting the museum. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell, Guest Book Administrator

Pawel Ono

Lovely museum! pawel-kozlowski.pl

Uwe Aranas

We have a reference from the British North Borneo Herald, gazetting a "W. F. Foley" as Commandant of the North Borneo Constabulary in 1883. We are supposing, that there had been a typo and it should read "F. W. Foley". Hence, we are interested, if your institution has evidence of the whereabouts of Lt Col Frank Wigram Foley, DSO, CB, CBE (1865-1949) for the year 1883. Any help in this matter is very appreciated. Kind Regards, Uwe

Curator's Comment:

Dear Uwe Lt Col Frank Wigram Foley was born in 1865, so in 1883 he would only have been 18 yrs old, which I would suggest would be too young for someone to be Commandant of the North Borneo Constabulary. Lt Col F W Foley served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and in 1883 the 1st battalion was in Gibraltar and the 2nd battalion was in England, so I don't think he is the man you are looking for. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell Guest Book Co-ordinator

Linda Perrett

Dear Sirs, I have been researching my husband's Great Uncle, who was William Charles Perrett, 7196, of the 1st Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment. His family lived locally in North Tidworth, Wiltshire. William C. Perrett, born circa 1886/07, had the honour of becoming part of the distinguished group of the British Expeditionary Force, The Old Contemptibles Association, and as such we are proud to retain his certificate that he was mentioned in a Dispatch from Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, dated 16th March 1919. We are grateful The Wardrobe, as we have identified that he is additionally commemorated in the War Diary of 27th January 1916, copy displayed on the website. We have handed down family information that William C. Perrett served in India, and talked of assisting the management of a tea plantation in India, which corresponds with the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, on duties in the British Empire at that period of time. William would have been 18 years old in 1904/05. In 1911 William Charles Perrett, is listed as a Signaller, based in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. In 1939 William Charles Perrett, survived the war, and is listed living again in Tidworth. William Charles Perrett died in 1958, and is buried in the Holy Trinity Churchyard at Tidworth, with the Old Contemptible badge grave marker. Being a novice researcher, this has confirmed to me his Old Contemptible Association. We have a photo which we treasure, as it is always nice to put a face to a name, especially with such an interesting background, as I find it helps bring his history to life. I would love to know where I can understand more about the army shorthand codes listed on his medal card, and medal index rolls. We would like to know if it is possible to find out, what honourable deed he carried out, and where this might be obtained please. Can further details be found at Kew, or could a visit to the museum at Salisbury help us in our research. Any help, will be most appreciated. Thank you, Linda Perrett.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Linda Thank you for the incredible history of your husband's Great Uncle. Rather than answer your questions here on the guest book I will email you. You didn't mention if you and your family are living in Wiltshire, if you are a visit to the museum is always possible. And yes you may find further information at Kew but hopefully the contents of my email to you will answer many of your questions Yours Aye Michael Cornwell Guest Book Adminstrator

Terence Carman

Trying to get information on 5 Wiltshire Regiment (Duke Edinburghs) Bn decimated on Chunuk Bair 10/08/15. Apparently Bn part of relieving force going to relieve NZ and Gurka troops. Wiltshires decimated by Turkish Divisional attack? Considered to be untried unit by ANZAC command, resulting in the loss of Chunuk Bair high ground. Can anyone please give any further informtion on this action. Grand father killed there named on the missing memorial at Helles.

Curator's Comment:

Terrence, The Museum has published a book written by Paula Perry, whose grandfather served in the 5th Bn The Wiltshire Regiment, so would have served with your grandfather. The book is called " A history of the 5th (Service) Battalion Wiltshire Regiment" by Paula Perry. It covers the whole period of World War 1 and covers Gallipoli. The book costs £19.99 and can be ordered by via the shop online on the website. Yours Aye Michael Cornwell Guest Book Administrator


Good Morning, I am trying to order two pictures, the system doesn´t allow me to complete de basket form, delivery address, paynent terms and order. Kindly send me an e-mail address where I can place my pictures request and donation. Thanks and best regards, António M Trigueiros Ing.

Curator's Comment:

Dear Antonio I have sent you an email explaining how to complete the process but in case you are looking for the reply on this guest book site here it is: What you need to do is as follows. 1. For each image type in details that allows you to bring the image up as a "Result". 2. On the right hand side of that image you will see a grey box with the words "View Item". Click on that box. 3.Now on the new page under the image itself you will see a Enlarge/Zoom Button and the words "Enlarge". Click on that. 4.You are now taken to a new page with just the image. Scroll down to the bottom of that page and you will find on the left hand side a box where from a drop down menu your decide the format you wish to receive the image in. Having selected your chosen format then click on add to basket. 5. You repeat this process until you have done it for all the images you want. 6. When you have placed your last images in the basket Press on the "Return to Results Button" and you will be taken back to the Page saying "Your Current Search". On the right hand column of the page at the top you will see a section called "Basket Summary". Click on the button saying "View Basket" and you see your full order. 7. Here you complete the method of delivery so firstly on the Delivery Region choose from the Drop down box and press "Change" Then on the Delivery method you select Processing Photographs for email £2.00 from the drop Down Menu and press Change. Then Press the Proceed to Checkout Button and complete your address details as required, when you have done that and continue to your payment page. If there any further problems please email me at Researcher3@the wardrobe.org.uk Michael Cornwell Guest Book Adminstrator

David Rowley

My wife, my brother, his wife, and I visited today, 4/8/2017, while we were in to visit the Cathedral. We were blessed to have met Paul who gave us a more personal look into The Rifles than the exhibit itself shown, which was quite a bit. Being a former member of the US Army and just one of a long line of military personnel traced back to before the Colonies leaving England, I am always interested in military history. To learn the history of The Rifles from one of its own was, I think, one of the highlights of my trip to Wiltshire today. Thank you very much for a wonderful time.

Martin Mcintyre

Message for Michael McIntyre regarding Alfred BIRCH - 2nd Wiltshire Regt. If you already have not done so, go the the relevant page on the War Diary section located on this website. The entry for that day gives a good sense of what happened that day. Home in one the HENIN - NEUVILLE VITASSE ROAD. That done I suggest the following to avoid missing the right location on your visit. Good Luck and I hope it goes well. Several guidebooks are available which cover Arras; there is a section in the Holt's Concise Guide to the Western Front - North, and an excellent guide devoted to the Arras battles and battlefields is Paul Reed's Walking Arras, published in the Battleground Europe series by Pen & Sword in 2007.

Michael McIntyre

Dear Sirs, my great-grandfather Alfred Birch was KIA while serving in The Wiltshire Regiment on the 9th April 1917, near Neuville Vitasse in Northern France. His daughter (my grandmother) was born 9 days later on the 18th April 1917. Myself and some siblings along with our Mother (his grandaughter), are visiting Arras Cemetery, where he is remembered (no remains were found), on the 100th anniversary of his death on 9th April 2017 to pay tribute to Alfred. This will be our first visit and a very poignant time for us all. We wondered if there were any other remembrance services taking place on this weekend as I believe the battle Alfred died in was a major battle resulting in approximately 350 other ranks casualties on the day he died. We look forward to hearing from you. Regards,

Curator's Comment:

Dear Michael For you information On 9th April in the early hours of the morning, at 6:30 (French Time), in front of the Memorial Wall of the Wellington Quarry, a ceremony of remembrance will take place. This annual ceremony is a tribute to the British soldiers who took part in the Battle of Arras. A sculpture by Martin Fountain called "The Earth Remembers", in memory of the New Zealand Tunnelling Company will be unveiled. The ceremony is open to the public to attend and there will be official representatives attending. For up to date information you can visit the official Arras Centenary Website and if you wish to make an enquiry you can do so through the contact page www.arras1418.com or you can contact the Arras Tourist Office direct: email to contact@exploresarras.com. We got these details from www.greatwar.co.uk/events/French-Flanders-events.htm Hope that gives you enough detail for the family to have a great day remembering Alfred Birch Yours Aye Michael Cornwell Guest Book Administrator

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.