Friday 24 February 2023

1st Bn at the capitulation of Martinique, 1809


1st Bn at the capitulation of Martinique, 1809
Martinique was a base for French activity in the West Indies. 1 RWF was part of an expeditionary force sent to capture the island. It was highly commended for its contribution towards the defeat of the French. For its bravery the battalion was presented with the Napoleonic Eagle captured from one of the French regiments which surrendered. MARTINIQUE 1809 was awarded as a battle honour.
Sir George Prévost with sword from Nova Scotia House of Assembly to commemorate his victory at Martinique, The Halifax Club, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Monday 13 February 2023

Tuesday 3 January 2023

24th Battalion

 An excellent photograph of what is believed to be some of the SNCOs of the 24th 
Battalion, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The full details of the individuals in the photo are not known but the Regimental Sergeant Major seated centre is WO1 RSM James Crinyion.  Crinyion was the son of a Fishmonger from Birkenhead and had a twin brother served in the Royal West Kent's (SSgt). Crinyion served as RSM of both the Denbighshire Hussars Yeomanry (DHY) and also when the Regiment was subsumed into the RWF as the 24th Battalion on 1st March 1917.  Crinyion was later commissioned and went onto serve with the 15th Hussars post war. 

There is much information in the photo. Firstly the RSM is wearing his DHY cap badge which he was not officially authorised to do! When yeomanry regiments were 
re-designated into infantry battalions the officers were allowed to retain their yeomanry regiment’s collar badges only. The remainder of the regiment wore the badges of their new Regiment. This is clearly Crinyion’s stamp of character on his position. 
Those men with their right forearm visible are showing four overseas service chevrons which denote four years service outside of Great Britain. This puts the year that the 
photograph was taken as 1918. 24 RWF were moved along with the rest of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division from Palestine to the western front in France on 24th April 1918. The German spring offensives had left the British Army dangerously short of manpower on the western front leading to several divisions being transferred from General Alenby’s force in Palestine to France. Examining the background, the terrain looks arid and the troops on the high ground to the rear look like they could be Indian troops. This therefore may suggest that the photograph was taken in Palestine in the early part of 1918.

All the SNCOs are wearing a battalion shoulder flash for recognition purposes. This 
appears to be a diamond with a white stripe down the middle. Whilst there are examples of a similar flash for the 5th/6th RWF in the Regimental museum archive we do not 
possess an example of the 24th Battalions shoulder flash. 

Also note that the RSM and the Company Sergeant Major to his right are wearing 
Jodhpurs. This is possibly another reference to their previous service at a yeomanry 

Monday 5 December 2022

Arthur Askey

 #eyahumour @explorearchives

Arthur Askey CBE - British Stage, Radio and Film Comic. Born in Liverpool in 1900, only 5'2" he enlisted in the Great War aged 18 into a Bantum Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. While in the army he worked with concert parties and this led him to a career as an entertainer, first in Music Hall then Radio and Film. He was the first T.V comedian when John Logie Baird used him in to appear in his early T.V experiments in the 1930`s. In WW2 he served in ENSA entertaining troops overseas.

Wednesday 30 November 2022

#EYABeards @explorearchives Robert Shields VC was a Welsh recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1827 and died in Bombay, India, in 1864. On the morning of 8 September 1856, during the Crimean War, Corporal Robert Shields volunteered to go along with Assistant Surgeon William Henry Thomas Sylvester in order to rescue an injured officer who had been incapacitated by a shot not far from their position outside the city of Sevastopol’s walls during the siege of the city.


The wounded officer was one Lieutenant Dyneley, the Adjutant of Shields’ own unit in the Royal Welch Fusiliers regiment. He had been shot and wounded near the Redan, a fort built close to Sevastopol, at this time it had been hastily occupied by more than a dozen Russian soldiers. It was an extremely dangerous and foolhardy thing to venture anywhere close to the Redan, as they would be well within range of all manner of enemy guns. Nevertheless, Sylvester and Shields decided to attempt to save the wounded man.


Together, they reached the lieutenant; however, they quickly noticed that his wounds were far more serious than they had anticipated. Sylvester dressed Dyneley's wounds as well as he was able while under heavy fire from the Redan and returned to the cover of their trenches, bringing with them the injured man. Dyneley later died from his wounds.


For their bravery, both men were awarded the Victoria Cross, subsequently going on parade for the first presentation of the new medal. Sixty other men were present at Hyde Park on 26 June 1857. The recipients were made up of both the army and the navy, and they were presented with the award by Queen Victoria herself.


Wednesday 9 November 2022

Regimental harpists

 Earlier this year, at the Wrexham Archive, we researched John & William Roberts, father and son, who both occupied the position of Regimental Harpist in the mid-late 19th century.

We were assisted by Dr Rhian Davies, who has advised us of a book launch "The Art of Music" to take place on Nov 22nd at the National Library of Wales Commencing at 2.30pm.
We are delighted to say that John Roberts and William Roberts both feature in the book - the latter depicted at Gibraltar.
The event is free, and will include live music and refreshments. Tickets are available for the public to book at:
May be an image of yr Awyr Agored a testun sy'n dweud 'The ART TheARTof of MUSIC BRANDING the WELSH NATION PETER LORD and RHIAN DAVIES'



Styled Prince of Wales’s own Royal Regiment of Welsh Fuzeliers, 1714
The title first appeared in the London Gazette of 9-13 November, which stated that ‘His Majesty [George
I] has been pleased to appoint Major General Joseph Sabine to be Colonel of his Royal Highness the
Prince of Wales’s own Royal Regiment of Welsh Fuzeliers.’ This was the first time the Regiment was
connected intimately with the heir-apparent.