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Mercian Regiment Crich Pilgrimage 2020

The first Sunday in July is the date of the annual Mercian Regiment pilgrimage to their regimental war memorial on the hilltop at Crich in Derbyshire. It is usually attended by around 1,000 people, representing the Mercians, their antecedent regiments and the Mayors of all the towns in their five counties, each of whom laid a wreath, joined on the hill in recent years by the Master Bowyer or his representative.

This year, with the Covid restrictions, participation on the hill was reduced to a handful. The ceremony was led by the Regimental Secretary, Brigadier (Retd) Peter Dennis CBE. Only four wreaths were laid, and the Bowyers' Company, as valued supporters of the Mercian Regiment Benevolent Fund (MRBF), was most honoured to be invited to provide one of the four, as shown.

There has been a tower on the hill at Crich since 1760. The Sherwood Foresters Regiment had been an amalgamation of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Regiments in 1881, and the current tower dates from 1923, when it was erected as a memorial to the 11,409 Sherwood Foresters who died during the Great War. The Sherwood Foresters merged with the Worcestershire Regiment in 1970 to become The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters. In 2007 they merged with the Cheshire and Staffordshire Regiments to form the Mercian Regiment, and the combined regiment was pleased to adopt Crich as its shared memorial.

As an advance diary date, the man who manages the disbursement of funds from the MRBF to the regiment's wounded and bereaved, former Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Lt Col (Retd) Bill Temminck BEM, will be coming to give the Bowyers' Company another of his entertaining and uplifting supper talks in London on Wednesday 9 September.

Tony Kench

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