Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire

Remembrance Day

On the 11th hour, of the eleventh day and month 2011, museum staff and visitors paid their respects to those who have given their lives for their country by observing the two minutes silence in the museums' Memorial Garden.

Remembrance day services started after the catastrophic loss of those who were killed and wounded during the First World War. Both The Royal Berkshire and The Wiltshire Regiment had their full share of this. The Royal Berkshires raised thirteen battalions and the Wiltshires eleven battalions which served in France, Flanders, Italy, Salonica, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Palestine. The Regiments earned fifty five Battle Honours and sixty Battle Honours respectively. 2nd Lieutenant Turner and Lance Corporal Welch of the Royal Berkshires and Captain Hayward of the Wiltshires were awarded the Victoria Cross. The cost in deaths was heavy, The Royal Berkshires 6,688 men and the Wiltshires nearly 5,000.

During the Second World War both Regiments fought over an even wider front than in 1914-18. A total of eleven Royal Berkshire Battalions were eventually raised of which six (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th 10th and 30th) saw service in France, North West Europe, Italy, Sicily and Burma while The Wiltshire Regiment raised six Battalions of which four (1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th) saw action in France, North West Europe, Italy, Sicily, the Middle east, Burma and Madagascar. Sergeant Rogers was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his gallantry while serving with the 2nd Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment in Italy. Although the overall cost in lives did not approach that of the Great War, individual battalions at times suffered heavily. For example, The Berkshires lost 300 men at Kohima and both the 4th and 5th Battalions of The Wiltshire Regiment took heavy casualties during the ‘break out’ from the Normandy beaches and the advance into Germany.

Today, we remember also the many men and women who have been killed or maimed in Afghanistan. All battalions of the Rifles Regiments have seen active service there and since December 2008 the Regiment has lost fifty one soldiers and countless more have received horrific injuries.

The image on the left shows the 'Remembrance' display case in the museum. Click on it to enlarge.