Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Cider House Rules Part 2

We weren’t expected until 3pm so decided the try the local Hatch Inn for lunch... Good sturdy cuisine and a useful place to have close to hand but in fact we ate in a different Inn every day except for Thursday when – dressed up – long skirt instead of eternal trousers we dined at Farthings; a superior hotel restaurant in the village where we had previously spent a couple of anniversaries.

It was always going to be a very relaxed holiday – the first day we slept till 9.30am with expeditions to various hostelries and some gentle exploring by me. I had noticed a sign to North Curry and remembered a friend recommending The Bird in Hand. Off the main roads are a network of tiny roads where the signage is often inadequate or just missing, so we saw Wrantage and beyond before turning round and finding the right road. Well worth the trouble; as someone said in the visitor’s book it’s the sort of pub one wished one had on one’s doorstep. I had bass and wicked potatoes which were like fat fleshy chips so had a modest honey comb ice for dessert.

To get some exercise MTL dropped me at the gate to the estate and I wandered round visiting the church and graveyard. John had said Colonel Chard’s grave was pink marble; the ground was very bumpy and I wished I had my pole. I found the pink marble but it was the wrong name so I had to start again and finally found it right beside the south wall of the church.

The Battle of Rorke's Drift, also known as the Defence of Rorke's Drift, was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu War. The defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift, under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers, immediately followed the British Army's defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879, and continued into the following day, 23 January. Just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The massive, but piecemeal,[11] Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the tiny garrison but were ultimately repelled. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders, along with a number of other decorations and honours.

Some of you may have seen the film Zulu where Stanley Baker played the hero. It’s a firm favourite with the men in my house. I took a photo of the window commemorating Col Chard but missed the window honouring Andrew Hamilton Gault a Canadian who married Dorothy Blanche Shuckburgh in 1923. Gault had fought in the Boer war in the Canadian Marked Rifles and in the Great War he raised and equipped at his own expense a full Canadian regiment which he took to France in 1914. A heroic and romantic concept from the past

By the way he lived at Hatch Court. He named the regiment Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry after the daughter of the Canada’s Governor General the Duke of Connaught. All week I felt as if I was living in an episode of Downton Abbey where I first heard of Princess Pat’s army.

Such was his drive the Pats were ready to leave Canada 17 days after the first call for rearming. Trained in England they crossed to France on 21st December and their war began at Ypres Jan 1915 and continued until they entered Mons11th November 1918.

Unable to fight in the front line after being wounded he continued to serve in France until the end of the war when he took the regiment back to Canada. He was MP for Taunton 1924-1935 and he and his wife used to fly small planes - DeHavilland Moths. True to form he rejoined the Canadian Army in WW2 until an accident led to his retirement in 1942. He died in 1958 and his wife continued to live at Hatch Court where there is a museum devoted to the regiment. Over the years many Canadians have visited to pay homage to a hero but I’m not sure what the position is now. I suspect it is just a private house.

I finished my wandering by the beautiful pond/lake and returned to The Cider House to tell MTL of my findings. I’ll include a few photos but if Picasa baulks at any words you’ll have to use your wits. More to come – not least a small snag.

Picasa baulked and refused to publish any photos until I split them and tried ten times. See photos below.


Pat said...

That should be 'fat fleshy CRISPS'.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

A fantastic history lesson and some lovely pics. But all I kept thinking about was the fact that you slept until 9:30. What's that like? I'll bet it's great. One day...

LL Cool Joe said...

Sounds like a wonderful holiday to me! Love the photos, and there is nothing quite like a good pub is there?

R. Sherman said...

Zulu is a good movie, though there's a spot where you see one of the Zulu warriors wearing a wristwatch. So much for continuity.


Pat said...

UB: doesn't happen very often - we wake too early.

Joey: do you miss them when you visit your house in the States?

Randall: Zulu is on TV at this very moment. I was interrupted by a long phone call but wasn't enthralled. MTL loves it. Nothing to do with the bouncing bare bosoms I'm sure.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Such a fascinating History...! Love the pictures even though Picasa is un-copoperative---(Maybe go back to posting your pictures through your own Picture Files..??)

Again, I am overwhelned with the great Beauty of this area....What a wonderful Holiday, Pat.

Guyana-Gyal said...

My tummy's full but now I want bass and wicked fat fleshy potato chips / crisps.

The story I'd like to see is the one about Shaka Zulu himself, it's a mini-series, with his name. I've heard it's truly good.

Pearl said...

Wow. I know NOTHING of the Boer War, but am intrigued. 150 people held off 3 to 4K Zulus?!



Pat said...

Naomi: if I could just remember how I posted pictures before Picasa.

GG: must ask MTL if he knows about him.

Pearl: seems incredible doesn't it?

Ponita in Real Life said...

Pat, the PPCLI's original headquarters was right here in my home of Winnipeg. There are several battalions now with the 2nd Battalion being stationed at the Kapyong Barracks in CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Shilo, which is about 2 hours west of Winnipeg. Nice historical note... thanks!

And I love your photos, as usual. I personally think you should forget Picasa and just upload the photos directly from your 'My Pictures' files on your computer. Works like a charm and I never have any issues, unless the photo is too high a resolution, which I just resize.

Mage said...

I've been enjoying your travels and adventures no end. MTL will put you on the right track with Picassa....

and congratulations on the anniversary. :)

Pat said...

Ponita:Glad you liked the history bit. I'm going to try publishing from my pictures. It's so long since I did it - hope it comes back to me.

Mage: thank you but I'm afraid MTL is totally non techie:)