This fascinating book details the extraordinary history of a regimental flag – the ‘miniature colour’ lost by the First Battalion, Cheshire Regiment during the retreat from Mons in 1914, but restored to the regiment in 1918 after being hidden throughout the German occupation by Belgian villagers. First made as a exact miniature of the Cheshire’s regimental standard, the Colour was sewn by wives of the First Battalion’s officer in 1911 as a company shooting trophy. Taken to France by B Company in 1914, it was entrusted to Drummer 9461 Charles Baker, who, cut off and fearing capture, hid it in the roof of a house in the village of Audregnies near Mons, concealing it under straw. Baker’s friend, Private 9865 Harold Riley, confided the secret to a nun, Sister St Loudon, who was treating his wounds. The nun told the village Priest, Father Soudan, who, together with the village schoolmaster, Monsieur Vallee, hid it behind choir stalls in the local church. As the Germans intensified their searches, the colour was moved and hidden yet again this time furled inside a pipe in M. Vallee’s school. In November 1918 at the end of the war, a colour party from the 1st Battalion returned to the village to recover the Colour from the faithful villagers. The much travelled Colour now has a permanent home in the Cheshire Military Museum at Chester Castle.
CHESHIRE REGIMENT The First Battalion At Mons And The Miniature Colour
Detailed account of the Colour belonging to B Company of the 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment, hidden in the retreat from Mons and faithfully guarded from German eyes by villagers throughout the war when it was recovered by the regiment.