In an effort to establish whether there might be any objection or barrier to using the knight on horseback element of the Fife & Forfar Yeomanry badge as part of a logo for the Fife & Forfar Great War Forum Chums, I gave the Regimental museum a call today. I spoke with Captain J. Preece, who is the Honorary (army speak for unpaid!
) Curator of the Fife and Forfar Museum at Cupar. Captain Preece is a serving officer, but in his capacity as Honorary Curator he could not have been more welcoming or enthusiastic about my enquiry.
I explained what the Great Forum community's interests were, and about the recent naming of those members from this area as the Fife & Forfar. I went on to say that a group logo had been discussed, with the equestrian knight from the Fife & Forfar Yeomanry badge being one possibility. I told him that we would be anxious not to tread on anyone's toes either in terms of copyright, or in being seen to use the badge inappropriately. Captain Preece doubted that the Regiment would regard the use of part of the badge by a group such as ours as inappropriate, and went on to explain that the knight on horseback element of the badge represents the 'Thegn of Fife', an office dating from Norman times. That part of the Regimental badge therefore represents something older than the Regiment, and was adopted by the Regiment in much the same way as we're proposing to adopt it now. I undertook to drop him a line formally indicating that we would like to adopt the knight logo if there were no objections.
The Captain was very interested in the activities of forum members here, and told me that their museum's largest collection of documentary material related to the Boer and Great Wars. In particular, he noted that they hold an extensive collection of cuttings from local papers from throughout the region relating to individuals in the Regiment who were decorated, promoted, wounded or KIA in these conflicts. This sounds like a great treasure trove for anyone researching a member of the Regiment during the Great War. In fact, Captain Preece said that he was involved in closing the Scottish Horse Museum at Dunkeld some years ago, and that much of the collection from there was now housed at Cupar. He went on to suggest that it might be possible to form some kind of affiliation between the Regimental Association and the Forum Chums local members, saying that a group visit to the Regimental Museum could certainly be arranged - with the added incentive that they have an in-house bar! It sounds like there's a great potential here to link the local forum Chums with the local Yeomanry Regiment in a mutually benefical way - and their HQ and museum at Cupar is certainly conveniently accessible for members travelling by public or private transport from anywhere in Fife or Dundee & Angus
The Captain suggested that I write, care of him, to the current Honorary Colonel, Sir John Gilmore, whose family have long associations with the Regiment, setting out something about the research acrtivities of the Forum, with the idea that a meeting could be arrranged with Sir John at one of the monthly Regimental Association meetings which, I was assured, were attended by several interesting former members of the Regiment who were happy to share their own recollections and Regimental anecdotes.
So, if Fife, Dundee and Forfar members here give me the go-ahead, I'll drop a line to Captain Preece and set the ball rolling for establishing a unique link between local forum members and a local Regiment as well as formalising the adoption of the equestrian knight as part of a logo.