Tuesday 28 October 2014

XI Hussars memorial, Canterbury Cathedral

Here's another memorial to cavalry in Canterbury Cathedral, this one erected by officers of the XI (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars, in remembrance of three of their brother officers killed in action.

Monday 27 October 2014

Lieutenant Colonel John Stuart, 9th Foot

Here's a touching tribute to a loved officer, Lieutenant-Colonel John Stuart of the 9th Foot who was on the heights of Rolera in Portugal on the 17th August 1808. The memorial is situated in Canterbury Cathedral.

Thursday 23 October 2014

50th Foot - Canterbury Cathedral memorial

This stunning memorial is situated inside Canterbury Cathedral. I popped in there yesterday and was staggered by the number of military memorials there, many of these (unsurprisingly) to cavalry units. This one is special because you effectively have a complete roll of honour for men of the 50th Foot who lost their lives in the Sutlej campaign of 1845 and 1846.  Note the Roman numeral L and the regimental name half obscured by Victory's banner. She looks worn out; testament to a tough campaign and hostile territory.

Friday 17 October 2014

Despatches - Findmypast

My employer has asked me if I'll contribute a fortnightly post to a new blog, "Despatches" on Findmypast. As I already support a wife, three children and ten blogs, adding another to the family is hardly a hardship and something, moreover, that I'm very happy to write.

The image above, used as a header on the Despatches blog, shows my great uncle, John Frederick Nixon, and I'll talk about him in more detail on the next Despatches post, two weeks from now.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

North Irish Horse

I stumbled across this great website devoted to the North Irish Horse when I was looking for an image of the Le Touret memorial to use on my post commemorating the death of Charles Frederick Henry Brown of the 4th Middlesex Regiment.  From my brief look at the pages on the site it seems to be extremely well-researched and, I would suggest, is an essential bookmark for anybody with an interest in this regiment.

The image above appears on the site, courtesy of the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (catalogue number D1482/6) and shows members of the Sergeants' Mess at Murlough in 1912. My congratulations to site owner Phillip Tardif for compiling such a useful resource.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Royal Artillery 1939-1945


Here's an extremely useful-looking site for those with an interest in the Royal Artillery in the Second World War. I've not been through it in depth but I have dipped in and out for information on specific units. An enormous amount of work has obviously gone into this site and I suspect that more information is still being added. Definitely a site to bookmark; this is to the RA 1939-1945 what regiments.org was to the British Army.

Saturday 11 October 2014

Victorian Wars Forum

Forums can be incredibly helpful when it comes to researching aspects of the British Army, and one of the best, in my opinion, is the Victorian Wars Forum which covers British military campaigns between 1837 and 1902.

Earlier this week I posted a query regarding a photo of a mystery unit, a football team (above), photographed somewhere overseas. The suggestions I received were immediate, reasoned and helpful. I'd posted the query on behalf of someone I'd met at a conference in Devon last Saturday and I know that the lady concerned is enormously grateful for the responses. You can read those responses by viewing the topic HERE.

I'd suggest that if you have an interest in the British Army during Queen Victoria's reign that the Victorian Wars Forum is the place to be.

Sunday 5 October 2014

Tyneside Scottish - Graham Stewart & John Sheen

It's great to see Graham Stewart's and John Sheen's Tyneside Scottish re-printed by Pen & Sword in this new edition. This is a weighty tome, written by experts. It's also packed with information, including nominal rolls, and at £30 for a little over 402 pages is probably fairly priced. You will of course be able to get it cheaper than this, and Pen & Sword, for one, is currently offering a £10 discount HERE.
The book tells the story of the formation and, in some cases, the decimation of the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers, better known simply as The Tyneside Scottish. The story is told, as is usual (and sensible) in this series in chronological order so that we get some background on the area the men came from, the recruiting, training and finally service overseas. There's a very interesting appendix on some of the physical defects encountered in the men on, or shortly after, attestation, and as with all the books in this series, the pages are well illustrated.
As I said at the start, it's great to see this book re-printed, and in an easier to handle format. If I have one complaint it is that the rolls are so small that you almost need a magnifying glass to read them. Rather than re-keying the information - and I can understand that this would be a daunting a task - the rolls have simply been copied across from the former format. The original pages were a good deal larger and the rolls worked. Here, in this new addition, they are incredibly difficult to read, which is a shame.
Nevertheless, rolls aside, this is a great book and an essential addition to those books, many of these published in recent years, which have brought Britain's volunteer army of 1914 back to life.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Cornwall's War History

Here's a very promising site which is well designed and easy to navigate: Cornwall's War History. A lot of work has gone into this and it's going to be a very useful research tool. Well done to those behind it.