Celebrating 300 years

WWI memorial and commemorative plaque to Bedfordshire Regiment

Friday, 11 December 2015

Ian Mould was born in Bedfordshire and has lived there all his life and his father, Gordon Mould, is a Freemason and member of the Old Dunstablians’ Lodge No. 5974. 

From an early age Ian has been inspired by military, history and as a young boyscout he regularly went to the local war memorial in November each year. This ignited Ian’s interest in the Bedfordshire Regiment. Though a small county, Bedfordshire had its own infantry regiment in WW1 which, after the war, was joined with Hertfordshire and then in 1958 both were absorbed into the Anglia Regiment.

Ian has been visiting the Western Front for 20 years and was struck by the peace of the area in what was once the most violent place on earth.

Ian realised that though the Bedfordshire Regiment sacrificed so much so gallantly, there was no Western Front memorial to the regiment. He worked tirelessly raising monies by asking most parish and town councils, organisations, clubs and businesses in the county for contributions, built a mock up memorial and took it to various shows and fêtes.

Having raised sufficient funds, Ian started to order materials. Bedfordshire being famous for its brick making, it seemed appropriate that it should be constructed mainly from Bedfordshire bricks and Portland stone.

The Keep, which is the Bedfordshire Provincial Office, was originally the headquarters of the Bedfordshire Regiment, so to maintain the link, there is one brick from the Keep with a plaque giving its origin and connection.

His first achievement was to find a fitting place for the memorial which would be widely accepted, and it was agreed to erect the memorial at Tyne Cot, along the pathway to the visitors centre.

With the help of friends, the memorial was built in early November 2014 in time for the WW1 centenary.

The memorial was unveiled on the morning of 10th November 2014 as part of the WW1 centenary commemorations with representatives of the Anglian Regiment, the War Graves Commission, local dignitaries, friends and family, 100 years and one day from the meeting of the two battalions at Locre, as depicted in the painting in the main bar at the Keep.

A wreath was also laid at the memorial at Locre to commemorate that event.

The memorial site was donated free of charge by the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and will be looked after by them in perpetuity.

IN MEMORY
OF THE OFFICERS AND MEN
OF THE
BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT
1914 – 1918
LET THOSE THAT COME AFTER
SEE THAT THEIR NAMES
ARE NOT FORGOTTEN

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