This year sees the 75th anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy; my challenge was to search the archive to see if we had any photographs relating to commemorations the regiment had attended.
Try as I might there was nothing in the main archive; of course, the Light Infantry did not exist as a single regiment in 1944, so I was not surprised. However, after a day searching, I remembered that we also held a collection of very large scrap books put together by the Officers’ and Serjeants’ messes between 1968 and 2007; I was not disappointed.
In one of the 1st Battalion’s books I found a two-page spread showing the men at Utah beach in 1984. I couldn’t scan them as the books are huge but aided by a digital camera, I have tried to capture some images to give a flavour of the event, 35 years ago.
The first photograph shows the 1LI Colour Party, with I assume the RSM in the centre. Perhaps someone can name them for us?
Many of the other photographs were taken privately rather than by an official photographer, probably a member of the mess.
Lt. Colonel Bob Pickford
The next image shows the late Bob Pickford, a Serjeant at the time, and a future RSM. He rose to be a Lt. Colonel and was highly respected within the regiment.
Finally, the last image shows members of the battalion marching along Utah Beach. Again this is a private photograph but I think it is clear enough for individuals to be identified.
If anyone can add anything to the photographs, we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps you were there? Or perhaps you had the camera and took the film to Boots to be developed?
Now I’ve been able to delve into this vast untapped resource I hope to be able to show you more in the near future.