For July’s Object of the Month, our Museum Assistant, Susan Langridge has chosen a pair of bookends from the estate of Major Cecil Courtenay Godwin OBE …
“I was thrilled by the phone call offering to donate a pair of Mousey Thompson bookends. Not only would they find a welcome home amongst the Mousey Thompson furniture in the museum’s Normanby Room, but they were an obvious rarity – unless you have a pair at home too!
The bookends are a solid and fine example of carved oakwork with XIX at the front above the initials CCG and the mouse is carved at the sides.
Major Godwin served with the Regiment between 1903 and 1928; during which fifteen years were spent with the Egyptian Army.
During the First World War he took part in operations in Darfur in 1916 when he was mentioned in despatches and later served with the Camel Corps in operations in the Nymie Hills, Nuba Mountains, Sudan receiving the Order of the Nile.
In 1924 Godwin narrowly escaped death when Sir Lee Stack was assassinated in Cairo.
Like so many former soldiers, his pride in his regiment, and his feeling that it was a key part of his whole personality, continued long after his duty was done.
On retirement he lived in various villages in the North Riding of Yorkshire, leaving his mark in most of them in the form of a piece of oakwork or a fireplace carved by the late Robert Thompson of Kilburn, with the XIX prominently on display, and of course, the trademark mouse carving.
Thompson’s furniture is a key feature of our Normanby Room, and can also been seen in the Regimental Chapel at St Mary’s parish church in Richmond.”