Lest We Forget

14Nov13

Lest we forget_Cardiff Times_Nov 2013

Firing Line Curator has written an article in November’s ‘Cardiff Times’ discussing the history of Remembrance and why we should never forget.

 


Don Burley

The Firing Line Museum has a new display titled ‘Object of the Month’. This display will change monthly, showcasing objects and stories from the collections of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and The Royal Welsh. This display has been researched and installed by one of Firing Line Museum Assistant, Ceri Gage who is currently studying towards obtaining her MA in Museum Studies.

November’s ‘Object of the Month’ displays personal items that belonged to WS/Sergeant D Burley of The Queen’s Bays, who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery at Coriano. These include a collection of private photographs and letters.

WS/Sergeant D Burley’s Citation reads:

“On 20 Sep 44, NW of M dell ARBORETA, the left flank of… leading elements of 2 Armd Bde were heavily engaged from high ground of the Coriano Spur (790914).  The vital position had been held by infantry of the division operating on the flank of the 2 Armd Bde, but they had been forced to withdraw, leaving wounded on the ground, by an enemy counter attack.

 One Troop of The Queen’s Bays of which Sgt Burley was Troop Sgt was ordered to go and assist in driving the enemy from this area.  During the move, both his Troop Leader’s tank and the Cpl’s tank were knocked out leaving Sgt Burley to carry on the operation by himself.  Realising that the ground over which he would have to attack almost entirely covered by enemy Anti-tank guns, he dismounted and set off to find out a covered way of approach up the hill to the enemy position.  This he did and managed to return, though he was constantly under close and accurate fire of all descriptions.  He found an Infantry Company Commander and told him what he had found out on his reconnaissance and suggested a suitable plan of attack.  The plan was agreed to and Sgt Burley led the infantry into the enemy position, using his guns so effectively that they arrived there with few casualties.  The enemy were temporarily routed, and under cover of the tank fire were able to evacuate the casualties who had been left there in the first instance and consolidate.  Later the enemy counter-attacked again.  Sgt Burley inflicted severe casualties on them, but whilst he was on foot, reconnoitring an alternative fire position for his tank, he was badly injured.  He was able to walk back to his tank and, though in great pain, and suffering from loss of blood, he continued to fight from his tank until the enemy had again been dispersed.

 This NCO, throughout, showed resource, initiative, powers of planning, and skill in execution, which would be considered outstanding in a commander of much higher rank.  In addition, he showed great personal courage in continuing to command his tank when so severely wounded.  The fighting spirit of Sgt Burley undoubtedly inspired all who co-operated with him in this action.
Sgt Burley was back again in time to take part in the advance from the River Motone to beyond the River Lamone.  At the passage of the Marzino he commanded his tank with marked ability and in the hard fighting West of FAENZA and across the Lamone he commanded his troop in the absence of his Troop Leader.  His was one of the first troops over the Lamone and throughout he led his tanks with great courage and resource causing many casualties amongst the enemy and materially assisting the infantry in holding their bridgehead against severe enemy counter-attacks”.

Visitors will be able to view this display throughout November 2013.  


2nd Welch at Cardiff Castle

The Firing Line Museum was delighted to host the official launch of the Cymru’n Cofio/Wales Remembers 1914-1918 website 26th October 2013.

This official website provides the latest information, news and events on how Wales will commemorate the centenary of the First World War between 2014 and 2018, reflecting the impact that the First World War had on Wales – and the impact Wales had on the First World War.  Over the coming months and years, it will reflect how the people of Wales will be commemorating this important centenary.

Carwyn Jones, First Minister for Wales attended the event making a keynote speech detailing his hopes that the Centenary would engage local communities in remembering and recording Welsh contributions during the First World War, at war and at home.

The website can be found at http://www.walesremembers.org/ and organisations are being encouraged to post their events and exhibitions on the website.


WWI

The Firing Line Museum Curator was thrilled to attend a meeting of Cymru WWI, who have been digitising Welsh Library collections relating to Wales during the First World War.

Thousands of newspapers and archival collections have been catalogued to be made available to the public during the First World War Centenary 2014-2018.

Representatives of the Cardiff WWI Steering Group stad down with members of Cymru WWI to discuss projects being prepared for this Centenary period, with a great deal of discussion and ideas sharing taking place.

The Cymru WWI blog can be found at http://cymruww1.llgc.org.uk/tag/cymruww1/ and promises to bring to the surface a treasure chest of sources from around Wales.

The WWI Centenary promises to be a wonderful period….a time for remembrance and commemoration for all that Wales did during this period in history.

Lest We Forget


Obituary,

18Feb13

Don Burley

We are sad to announce the passing of 6202608 WS/SERGEANT D BURLEY, formerly of The Queen’s Bays.

Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, his citation reads:

“On 20 Sep 44, NW of M dell ARBORETA, the left flank of leading elements of 2 Armd Bde were heavily engaged from high ground of the Coriano Spur (790914). The vital position had been held by infantry of the division operating on the flank of the 2 Armd Bde, but they had been forced to withdraw, leaving wounded on the ground, by an enemy counter attack.

One Troop of The Queen’s Bays of which Sgt Burley was Troop Sgt was ordered to go and assist in driving the enemy from this area. During the move, both his Troop Leader’s tank and the Cpl’s tank were knocked out leaving Sgt Burley to carry on the operation by himself. Realising that the ground over which he would have to attack almost entirely covered by enemy Anti-tank guns, he dismounted and set off to find out a covered way of approach up the hill to the enemy position. This he did and managed to return, though he was constantly under close and accurate fire of all descriptions. He found an Infantry Company Commander and told him what he had found out on his reconnaissance and suggested a suitable plan of attack. The plan was agreed to and Sgt Burley led the infantry into the enemy position, using his guns so effectively that they arrived there with few casualties. The enemy were temporarily routed, and under cover of the tank fire were able to evacuate the casualties who had been left there in the first instance and consolidate. Later the enemy counter-attacked again. Sgt Burley inflicted severe casualties on them, but whilst he was on foot, reconnoitring an alternative fire position for his tank, he was badly injured. He was able to walk back to his tank and, though in great pain, and suffering from loss of blood, he continued to fight from his tank until the enemy had again been dispersed.

This NCO, throughout, showed resource, initiative, powers of planning, and skill in execution, which would be considered outstanding in a commander of much higher rank. In addition, he showed great personal courage in continuing to command his tank when so severely wounded. The fighting spirit of Sgt Burley undoubtedly inspired all who co-operated with him in this action.

Sgt Burley was back again in time to take part in the advance from the River Motone to beyond the River Lamone. At the passage of the Marzino he commanded his tank with marked ability and in the hard fighting West of FAENZA and across the Lamone he commanded his troop in the absence of his Troop Leader. His was one of the first troops over the Lamone and throughout he led his tanks with great courage and resource causing many casualties amongst the enemy and materially assisting the infantry in holding their bridgehead against severe enemy counter-attacks”.


Dan Peterson – “A War Artist at War”Image

 Talk: 27th November 2012

 Timescales

18.00 for 18.30 talk

19.45 Dinner

 Wine Reception and Talk   £7.00 per person

Wine Reception, talk and dinner £ 20.00 per person

 About our speaker:

 Dan Peterson was the Official War Artist for 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards during Operation HERRICK 15 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2011–12.

 He studied art at Cardiff School of Printing and Cardiff School of Art and Design and has been an illustrator and graphic designer for over twenty five years. He was also a member of the armed forces, serving with 266 Parachute Battery, the TA Battery of 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, for nearly 14 years.Image

 During his time with the Welsh Cavalry he went on vehicle patrols, foot patrols and operations, witnessing all aspects of the work the Regiment undertakes during an operational tour. Armed only with pencils, pens, brushes, sketchbooks and camera he recorded these experiences – the drawings and paintings he has produced make up a visual diary of day to day life on the front line.


Mr Harold Ponfield aged 93 died peacefully in his sleep yesterday at the Singleton Hospital Swansea.
 Harold served in the KDG rImageight through WW2 from 1938 to 1946 retiring as a Sgt.  He was very active right up until his death.  In 2009, aged 90, he travelled to Germany with the RCA to visit his Regt, something he enjoyed enormously. Earlier this year Harold traveled to London as the representative of the Regt and the RCA to deliver a petition to Number 10 during our campaign to save us from the defence cuts.  Harold was a typical WW2 ‘Old Soldier’, always immaculately turned out, never boastful of his exploits and extremely proud of his Regt.



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