Thursday, August 10, 2023

A Regimental Badge on Personal Memorials

Continuing our all too brief look at some of the heraldry in Ely Cathedral, we come to a section with a number of memorials to various officers of the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment.

Not surprisingly, two of those memorials prominently display the badge of the Regiment.

The first is that of Lt. Col. Henry William Hurrell (1858-1917).

The badge of the Regiment is clearly seen here: A castle with port above a key palewise wards to base and dexter, all beneath a scroll with the word Gibraltar. The motto on the belt surrounding the castle is Montis insignia calpe (The insignia of the mountain). I am going to make a leap here and suggest that the mountain spoken of is Tarik’s mountain in southern Spain, in Arabic Jebel Tariq, which is anglicized as Gibraltar.

The other memorial which displays the Regiment's badge is that of Col. Robert Gregory Wale (1820-1892).

The Regimental badge is shown at the top of the memorial (not quite as before, here it is: Above a castle with port a key palewise wards to base and dexter), with the motto appearing on a scroll below the castle.

The memorial also displays his own coat of arms at the bottom: Argent on a cross sable five lions rampant or. The crest is: A lion rampant or supporting a long cross sable. The motto is Cum cruce salus, Salvation with the cross. (The motto does not appear in that old standby for researching crests and mottoes, Fairbairn's Crests.)

I always find memorials to soldiers to be moving, whether they died at the age of 72 after many years of service, as Col. Wale did, or died a little younger than that during the Great War, as Lt. Col. Hurrell did. These plaques, whether armorial or not, always bring me to remembrance of the labor and sacrifices of those memorialized, too many of them cut down before their due time.

That they have heraldry on them is only a bonus to me.

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