Sav­ing a frag­ment of our mil­i­tary his­tory

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

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

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