Our Learning Officer, Carl Watts tells us how he was astounded to be presented with a century old list of names from the past, during the course of our Ribbon of Remembrance project…
“Daily discussions with some of the thousands of visitors to the museum have probably made me a tad complacent; recently I’ve been reading hundreds of stories submitted to the Ribbon of Remembrance centenary project.
Each story is individual and each story is important. However, many stories are repeated at least in part somewhere else. The experiences of one Lance Corporal can be paralleled with the events in the life of one of his comrades, or one of his adversaries. Each individual photograph is unique, but can have a very familiar feel.
However, I was jolted into a state of surprise when Lorna Pound from Catterick Village dropped into the museum and presented me with not just a story for the Ribbon of Remembrance, but also a copy of ‘The Great War 1914-15’.
This small booklet, around A5 in size has the subtitle ‘Names of Richmond Men serving the Empire and of the Red Cross Society, working at Frenchgate House, Richmond, Yorkshire’.
Lorna passed the booklet to me with the phrase, “I bet you’ve seen a lot of these already!”
I opened up the booklet, which also lists the women of Richmond directly involved in the war effort, despite the subtitle, to see a host of names, both familiar and unknown.
Listed are regiments, battalions, records of wounds and deaths, plus the names of nurses, all from the years 1914-15.
I’ve certainly not seen this publication before, nor has anyone I’ve discussed it with.
To top it all, the last page records ‘Thos. Spencer, Printer, Richmond’, the same print shop responsible for creating the local recruiting posters at the outset of the Great War.
Spencers was located at the top of the Market Place on the corner of Finkle Street, in the premises now occupied by Lemon. Lemon are displaying information about the role of Spencer’s during the war as part of their commemoration.
Thanks to Laura, another forgotten historical document has been brought to light.
With her permission we have produced some copies, which you can see at the museum over Remembrance weekend. Why not have a look through – there are a lot of very familiar local surnames.”