We track down stone crest from Bromsgrove Drill Hall

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 15 May 2013 Updated: 15/05 11:52

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Buy photos » Crest Above the Drill Hall - Bromsgrove by Roy Hughes.

Crest Above Drill Hall - Bromsgrove (Roy Hughes) / CC BY-SA 2.0

A PIECE of Bromsgrove history which became the talk of the town when it completely disappeared has been savalged in a bid to preserve it for future generations to see, The Standard can reveal.

We were contacted by several people about the stone Worcestershire Regiment crest which was above the door of the town's Drill Hall, before it was taken down some weeks ago.

Concerned readers, including veterans, got in touch with us, worried that it had been stolen, and asking if we were able to find out what had happened to it.

And now, we have managed to track it down to former Bromsgrove District Council leader Dennis Norton who confirmed that, fearing the building would soon be demolished, he received permission to salvage it and secure its long-term future for the people of Bromsgrove.

One person we spoke to was Normandy veteran Tommy Dutton.

He told us how the Worcestershire Regiment crest was used as a cap badge in World War I and said it was important that the stone version of it was preserved.

"A lot of blokes have lost their lives under that badge.

"I would not like to think that the stone carving had been discarded."

Mark Langford is the spokesperson for the Bromsgrove Armed Forces Memorial Fund, which is aimed at building a new war memorial in the town to where all UK servicemen and women, past and present, from all conflicts, can be remembered.

He also contacted us about the crest's disappearance.

He said: "There are not many examples of the Worcestershire Regiment badge about, particularly one which is as good as this one.

"It's an important part of the town's history," he added.

Col John Lowles, from the Mercian Regiment Museum, said: "We are concerned about the loss of history relating to the regiment over the years, but there's very little we can do about a lot of it."

But, he welcomed the fact the stone crest had been rescued.

"It belongs in Bromsgrove and that is now where it will remain," he said.

Bromsgrove's Drill Hall was built in 1914 by town firm Weaver but, because of the war, it was not really given an official opening.

It was used by the Volunteer Training Core and Red Cross throughout World War I and by the Home Guard in World War II.

After the war it was used by the Territorial Army and became a community hall for the people of Bromsgrove, where dances, antique sales, boxing and wrestling and the annual Chrysanthemum Show were held.

It was used up unil the 1990s by army cadets.

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