Monthly Feature

Monthly Feature

June 22

The Middle East Soldier

This month's feature is a proud piece of silver presented tot he Officers' Mess when the Battalion left 158 Brigade in the Middle East for service on the Western Front.

This piece take pride of place at all Regimental functions and at dinner nights is located in front of the Commanding Officer/senior Regimental Officer.

The figure stand 24 cm high and with the plinth 35 cm.

It is hallmarked London 1921.

The plaque is engraved:

\ Presented to the Officers

\ 1st Herefordshire Regiment

\ by the Officers of 5th, 6th and 7th RWF [Royal Welsh Fusiliers]

\ On the Regiment leaving

\ the 158th Inf Bde in Palestine

\ to embark for France 1918

\ in token of esteem and good fellowship

\ after 4 years active service together

\ during the Great War

May 2022

The Two Lieutenants Ragg

World One research is challenging at the best of times, yet recently an even more confusing situation has been discovered when 2 officers, both named ‘T Ragg’ were Commissioned into the Herefordshire Regiment.

It is made more confusing by Officers not having personal numbers, and some references having an abbreviated forename or just a single, rather than full initials! T Ragg cannot be a common names and an easy assumption that could be made is that there was only one!

This situation came to light as a result of an enquiry from a family descendent and subsequent research.

The 2 Raggs acquired their Commissions by different routes - Private Thomas Ragg Commissioned from the London Rifles (9 June 1915), Thomas Murray Ragg from Hereford Cathedral School OTC (10 Dec 1914).

A quick look at the 1911 census gives a few more details - Thomas Murray was a pupil at Hereford Cathedral Scool (where his father was a housemaster) and born in 1897 in Norfolk; the other, Tom born in 1890 in Jersey and now living in Hertfordshire and working as an insurance clerk.

A review of the Museum archives revealed a photograph of the Officers of the 3rd/Depot Battalion - it is undated but since they are wearing the city coat of arms capbadge (worn only until late 1915) the photo must be late 1914 or early 1915. Lt T Ragg is shown - but which of our T Raggs is he! A photo from the family would indicate that it is ‘Tom’.

But what of their subsequent military careers ………………..

Thomas Murray Ragg relinquished his Commission of account of ill health 12 Oct 1916 - it appears he never served overseas.

Tom’s Medal Index Card indicates he went overseas (France) with the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry on 29 June 1918.

Tom’s family emigrated to New Zealand and Tom suffered from recurring mental health issues (- I suspect what we would now call PTSD) and died in an institution on 30 August 1949.

There are additionally some pension records which to the unwary could further confuse the situation:

An undated card for TM Ragg shows a claim apparently in respect of TB - this would align with his resignation through ill health.

There are several cards for T Ragg, including one which appears to be from his widow Margaret.

I think this well illustrates the challenges of research and the need to always ‘dig a little deeper’ and not make the easy assumption!

April 2022

The Painting 'Advance at Suvla'

This month we feature the Charles Dixon painting of the Herefordshire Regiment advancing at Suvla Bay. Dixon was a well know painter and a member of the Royal Academy. He painted many pictures of troops at Gallipoli, including the well known picture of the beached River Clyde.

The painting is large - some 6 feet by 4 feet and hangs in the Drill Hall ay Suvla Barracks. The painting was cleaned for the centenary anniversary of the landing at Suvla Bay and the detail in close up is most impressive.

The painting was completed in 1919 and presented by the Herefordshire TA Association.

The Museum also hold Dixon's draft painting.

Additonal Information

  • Monthly Podcast

  • Medals and the Man

  • The Camera Returns