Saving a fragment of our military history
YOUR article on the fire at Clandon (Fight fire with fire, March 8), like so many other reports, doesn’t mention the catastrophic loss of the Regimental Museum of The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment, which had occupied part of the basement, although it alludes to it by mentioning the loss of the Victoria Crosses. This additional tragedy saw the loss of so many priceless regimental artefacts including, for instance, a football kicked ahead of the troops to distract them as they went over the top at the Battle of the Somme.
Despite the thoughtful actions of brave, ex-military firefighters who rescued some of the old colours and medals, nearly everything was lost. By chance, I had borrowed a regimental flag with its prominent Paschal Lamb and star badge (right) from the museum before the fire, bringing it back to my home in the shadow of Downside Abbey and therefore preserving it. Roderick Mellotte, Somerset