By 2017 The Reverend Jane Lisvane
Monday, 5th June 2017
To the Herefordshire Light Infantry Museum at Suvla Barracks, Harold Street. A fascinating briefing by Colonel Andy Taylor, the County Colonel of The Rifles and the Curator of the Museum. Andy traced the history of the Regiment from the Herefordshire and Radnorshire Rifle Volunteers, formed in 1861, via its existence as the Volunteer Battalion of The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, to becoming the 1st Battalion, The Herefordshire Regiment, in 1909.
At the start of the First World War the Regiment was expanded to three Battalions, and the 1st Battalion landed at Suvla Bay in August 1915 in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign, fighting with great fortitude but suffering appalling casualties. As my New Zealand grandfather was fighting with the ANZACs only a mile or two away from the Herefordshire Regiment at the time, it was gripping to hear Andy’s description of the Regiment’s experiences. Had the senior commanders been more flexible and imaginative, the outcome might have been very different.
A feature of the Museum is the collection of medal groups, and the military and family stories that they tell. Andy has been untiring in bringing together all aspects of the Regiment’s history (including the pennant from Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz’s official car – kept by the Regiment “in safe custody” after being acquired at the surrender of German forces in Denmark).
My warm thanks to Colonel Andy Taylor for a fascinating morning. Do have a look at the website: herefordshirelightinfantrymuseum.com for information about the Museum and how to visit it. I can thoroughly recommend it.