The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
Why develop this site?
As with most specific historical interests, my own started with a family member. I am incredibly proud to say that my Great Grandfather was one of the Regiment's Vickers and Lewis Gunners who fell in the Great War, and several other of my family members served in the regiment before, during and after the Great War. Finding out what happened to them was not easy as information on the regiment was very limited when I started looking at their service (before the days of the internet), so this site is in place simply to provide information that may not otherwise be readily available, thus ensuring soldiers like them can be researched and remembered.
In spite of it's long and eventful history, the Bedfordshire Regiment was never a 'fashionable' regiment outside of the counties of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire; it was a typical, reliable, county Regiment of the Line which held no royal title and wore standard infantry clothing. It took it's post in the main battle lines without fuss or drama, garrisoned and policed the Empire as their orders dictated and quietly went about its business. Yet when called on for dogged determination or remarkable feats, the men bearing the distinctive cap badge never came up short.
Having collected much information while learning about my own ancestors and having been pulled into the story of the regiment itself in the process, I found myself considering what to do with the information and decided to put this collective knowledge to good use and help others in their search for information on their ancestor's exploits. With this in mind, around 2002 I started to create this site.
Although the Regiment is the backbone of this site, the individuals, their experiences and bravery in the face of adversity that no human should ever be subjected to, is what I really wish to portray. The feats of that generation were nothing short of incredible. Their efforts and endurance are, quite simply, the reason we live as we do today and I strongly believe that their sacrifice should never be forgotten or taken for granted. The famous words from the poem "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon (1914) say it all:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
About the author
As for me, I live in Great Gransden, on the Cambridgeshire / Bedfordshire border with my incredibly supportive wife Liz, who happily tramps around cemeteries, battlefields, libraries and archives with me. Having been interested in warfare since I was able to think for myself, I have spent many years researching on a 'hobby' basis (whilst working in the Business and Commerce environment) as well as a full time Military and Family History researcher. I also had the pleasure of working as a Cataloguer in the Imperial War Museum's Film and Video Archive at Duxford.
Ultimately, I collect and interpret information as opposed to being a medals or memorabilia collector. I have produced a lot of written material whilst researching the regiment and helping people who want to know more about their ancestor's service in the regiment over the years. I have also written articles for magazines and assisted with or provided complete research for various arms of the media.
I am also the author of the books 1st Bedfordshires. Part One; Mons to the Somme which tells the story of the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment between 1914 and 1916, and 1st Bedfordshires. Part Two: Arras to the Armistice, which concludes their remarkable story. Further volumes covering the other battalions within the regiment are intended, but the centenary has put those efforts on hold as the volume of enquiries has risen considerably.
In more recent years I have also had the genuine honour of becoming a Trustee of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment Museum at Wardown Park in Luton.
Providing talks on the regiment also features in my year, for both local groups and formal functions. These are tailored to suit the audience so drop me a line if you would like to organise a general regimental talk (with focus on your local lads built in), stories of the regiment's Victoria Crosses and other such derring-do, or about the regiment during a specific battle from the Great War for example.
This is a personal site, funded entirely by myself and is purely a platform for the regiment's soldiers and their stories so I don't entertain advsertising, cookies, or any other such nonsense. It is not connected in any way to any organisation and has no commercial interest so please don't ask me to consider requests along those lines as I am unlikely to reply as it will stop me from helping those who have an interest in the soldiers and their stories.
For queries (such as specific soldiers, the regiment's battles, the site itself or to discuss organising a talk on the regiment) please contact Steve Fuller on email@example.com.
It would also be helpful if you add the soldier's name into your email Subject heading so I do not accidentally think it is junk mail (which I get a lot of given how old the site is)!
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Site built by and © Steven Fuller, 2003 to 2017