Why do I volunteer?
When first asked if I would help at the Essex Regiment Museum I simply thought “Why Not?” Now some years later it has enriched my life.
I am a former soldier from a family with military links; my wife, son and grandson were all in the RAF. I thought that putting something back would be worthwhile, and so it is.
I volunteer two days a week transferring the information of the original Regimental Enlistment books onto a computer base. These books were completed by the army clerk at the time the soldier joined the Regiment some 90 years ago. All the soldier’s details were entered; name, age, school, employment, address, family. Really it is a man’s life story in a dusty old book. But then comes the sad bit; their war service, wounds, injuries and, worst of all, their death.
I have sat at the PC with tears rolling down my checks while some of the stories have unfolded in those dusty pages. The worst is the notation “No Known Grave”. Were they buried in the mud of Flanders or were they blown to pieces by a shell? Many we shall never know, but I will remember the sacrifice these men made in the service of their Country.
This is why I come back every week to record the histories of these men who gave their all. In my own way I am saying “Thank you”.
If you would like to repay the debt you owe these men then come and join us at the Regiment Museum, it is so satisfying.
To view volunteering roles at Chelmsford Museums Click here
To discover roles at a Museum near you carry out a search using your postcode and choosing Arts/Heritage/Entertainment as an interest or Click here for details of how to contact your local Volunteer Centre.