Black Country Bugle
Grenadier Guards return to their roots
AT the end of July a group of soldiers made a pilgrimage to the historic Boscobel House, near Brewood.
The house is forever associated with the story of Charles II and his escape following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, when he made his way through the Black Country before hiding in an oak tree in Boscobel Wood.
Inkerman Company, Grenadier Guards marched from Aldershot to Boscobel House and the Royal Oak as part of a pilgrimage to the roots of the creation of the company, and as a physical test as they build towards deploying on operations to Iraq at the end of the year.
The Inkerman Company (named after a subsequent famous battle honour of the Crimean War) is the direct descendant of Wentworth’s Regiment of Foot, which was formed to protect Charles II in exile in 1656.
Colonel William Careless, of Broom Hall in Brewood, hid with the king in the oak and prevented him from falling as the monarch slept. Careless was reunited with Charles in exile and was among the first officers of the regiment. This link is recognised in the Company colour, which features a picture of Charles II framed in the Royal Oak on a crimson background.
It was the first time in the 366 year history of the Grenadier Guards that they had been to Boscobel House and Inkerman Company marched into the courtyard to the tune of Grenadiers Return played by a drummer and flute player from the Corps of Drums.
In a short ceremony, the staff of Boscobel House, led by site manager Daisy Lambert, presented Inkerman Company with an oak sapling supplied by English Heritage that will be planted at their barracks for future grenadiers to look after and watch grow.
Charles II’S exact route of escape is open to conjecture but he is known to have passed through Stourbridge and Wordsley before reaching Boscobel. He later stayed at Moseley Old Hall and Bentley Hall and passed through Rowley Regis on his way to Bromsgrove.
Boscobel House and the Royal Oak are managed by English Heritage. For details of opening times and admission prices, log on at www.eng lish-heritage.org.uk