Page 9- Last Page
25th October- First up some photo's:
National Army Museum, London. Quick trip over, on the No 19 bus, to find a building totally redesigned from my last visit in 1996. Open, light, airy and now chokkas with educational experiences and personal stories. So you can learn that that "Trooper Tom Brown" lost two fingers of his bridle hand, and was wounded eight times in the face and neck when recapturing one of his regiment's guidons in a battle. But not what the battle was and not what the guidon on display (shown below) next to that story may be, though the positioning would indicate that this was the flag Trooper Brown had saved.
The flag is actually the King's Guidon of the 9th Regiment of Dragoons. This guidon was never carried into battle. The regiment was kept in Ireland from 1717 (after seeing action against the Jacobites in the 1715 rising) until converted to Light Dragoons and getting new guidons in about 1783. The regiment evolved through being the 9th Dragoons to the 9th Light Dragoons, then the 9th (Queen's Royal) Light Dragoons (Lancers), 9th Queens Royal Lancers, the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales') and ultimately into the Royal Lancers (since 2015, when all the already-amalgamated lance regiments were rolled into one regiment).
So Trooper Tommy didn't lose fingers recapturing this guidon, as the positioning of the guidon and plaque implies. It wasn't carried in 1715 (it's a pattern 1742 guidon, so about 270 years old) and the unit had new, "IX LD" guidons when they finally went on active service again, in 1798- and by then light cavalry had been ordered not to take their guidons on active service.
But who cares? Most people would be more interested in whether Trooper Tom Brown was related to the hero of Tom Brown's School Days.
After getting the titles and authors of some interesting books from the assistant in the research section I was out- after less than an hour and a half. The full Siborne diorama is on display, not just the small one that was there in 1996, but I think the old museum had a much broader, more interesting- and much better identified- set of artifacts on display. But there's lots to do when the local school kids come in on a school excursion, so it's probably a better museum now.
So back on the No 19 to go back to the hotel.
It's Saturday and the Extinction Rebellion mob have joined the anti-Brexit people and other, un-named groups, to stage a huge demo' in the centre of London- and there ain't no bus. The Tube is easy to use, so from Sloane Square to Embankment, then change to the Northern Line to Leicester Square, change for the Piccadilly Line and get off at Russel Square for a short walk to the hotel. A quick lunch around the corner, at the Queen's Larder, and off to the British Museum, which is a block from the hotel. Lots of people (probably trapped on the West Side by the demo's) but it was a place where I could easily spend a few days just wandering around the exhibits.
Up early on Sunday, off to Heathrow via Paddington railway station. Breakfast of a sort at Heathrow, check in three hours before flight IAW recommendation of Singapore Air, look at the strange blue sky and then a too-many-hours flight, with two hours transit in Singapore, before touching down in Sydney. We then went through the whole get off, go through security and wait around an empty airport where most of the shops are shut before getting back on the same plane, to get to Canberra. Went through Customs quickly and got a taxi home. <cranky rant about whingeing, fkwitted Canberra Taxi drivers deleted>
Welcome back to the Land of Oz.......
Would I do it again? YES! But differently. Spend more time and cover less cities. So a week, at least, each for a few cities I want to visit again such as Prague, Vienna, Ieper (Ypers), Edinburgh and Chester. Give Munich, Paris and Berlin the flick unless I have someone with me who really wants to see one/some of them. And have a day's break in Singapore on the way out and back- so you do four shorter trips rather than two really long ones. Even a business class seat gets uncomfortable after a while.
Anyway, trip over.