Cornwall’s Regimental Museum on the Road: The Light Infantry and The Rifles Reunion in Shrewsbury
By Sophie Hodge
This year, for the first time, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum headed up to the annual The Light Infantry and The Rifles Reunion in Shrewsbury. Our location in Bodmin can make it hard for many people to get to us, so we’re keen to make use of a variety of different ways of bringing the museum to the Regiment. This includes putting information online on our website and social media, attending events like Shrewsbury, and sharing stories in our e-newsletters and blog. We want to reach out to you and make sure that your stories are heard, that the regiment that you are so passionate about is recognised and not forgotten.
So this year, the Museum Director, Mary Godwin, and myself set up a stand at Shrewsbury with a few objects from the national Light Infantry collection, including a piece of the Berlin Wall, the highly decorated Commanding Officer’s Bugle, and the helmet damaged by sniper fire in Northern Ireland in the 1990’s. These objects generated a great deal of conversation, and we listened with interest to all of your stories, not only about your own close scrapes, but also your daily lives in the regiment, and what being a former Light Infantryman means to you now that it’s been more than 10 years since the regiment was disbanded.
From my own personal perspective, it was an unexpectedly emotional day. I went along with no idea of what to expect, just knowing that there would be a large number of former soldiers, and a bar…! However every single person we spoke to throughout the day was extremely welcoming, and we were very fortunate to have been allocated a stand next to the wonderful The Light Division & Rifles Buglers Association, who were all so friendly and amazingly passionate about what they do. It really was wonderful to have been so welcomed and accepted, and, all being well, we are already looking forward to next year’s reunion – the grand 50th, I hear!
I’d like to say a great big thank you to everyone who came to speak to us, who told us a story and agreed to keep in touch. If you’ve given us your contact details already we will be in touch to keep you updated on the progress of our oral history project, which we are hoping to begin after September (You can read more about this on Mary’s blog post, here). Thank you to everyone who took a leaflet and showed an interest. It’s incredibly important to us that you are able to get in touch and let your voices be heard. If you were not at the reunion this year, we hope that you’ll come and see us in the museum sometime, or come and see us at next year’s reunion – as the 50th anniversary it promises to be a grand affair, and like us at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, and so many of the other organisations surrounding the Light Infantry, it is a worthy cause for your support.
Sophie Hodge, Project Manager: Marketing Friends and Legacies
If you’d like to find out more about our plans for the national Light Infantry collection, or if you think you can help us with our oral histories and memories projects, get in touch! You can email me at [email protected] or telephone us on 01208 72810 – or if you’re in the county why not pop in for a chat!