"They Shall Grow Not Old ... "

First World War Commemorative Displays 
Educational Presentations
Patron: Lieutenant General Andrew Collingwood Figgures C.B., C.B.E., 
Master General of The Royal Mechanical & Electrical Engineers.

“Without you I would never have found out what my father did during the Great War – I am so grateful for your help – it means so much to me to know more about his life in the army.”

                                                                               Mrs Barbara Taylor - Tonbridge, Kent

Barbara’s Story …

One afternoon in April 2014 Barbara Taylor visited an event at Tonbridge Castle which included one of our Great War commemorative displays. She mentioned to us that her father had served with The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment during the Great War and that he had also seen service during the Second World War. Barbara knew that at some point in his life he became an ‘In-Pensioner’ at the Royal Hospital Chelsea but she didn’t know what happened to him.

With the brief details she gave us we were able to identify him from records held at the National Archive and the next morning Barbara returned to Tonbridge Castle and we were able to share what we had learned about her father’s army service with her. It transpired that her father had taken part in one of the Royal West Kent Regiment’s first engagements with the enemy during the Great War at Tertre in Belgium on the 23rd August 1914.

In August 2014 Barbara, and her daughter Emma, attended the Centenary Commemoration of this battle in Belgium as guests of The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Living History Group and The Queen’s Own Buffs Regimental Association. During the ceremony we presented Barbara with an exact copy of her father’s Great War medals which were lost to the family.  The event was reported on by Derek Johnson of ITV's Meridian News - Click here to watch a copy of the televised broadcast.

In October 2014, having researched her father’s time at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, we accompanied Barbara and Emma to Brookwood Military Cemetery where they visited his grave for the very first time.

It was a real privilege for us to have been able to help them piece together this important part of their family history which can now be passed on to future generations.