Interesting 1940s items from Spalding museum to go on display

Colour Sergeant Wilfred Walker.
Colour Sergeant Wilfred Walker.
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A regular column by Spalding Gentlemen’s Society’s Dr Patricia Buck.

It is apt to have an object of interest linked with the 1940s as next weekend (August 13-14) there is an ever popular event celebrating everything 1940s in the house and grounds of Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding.

That, of course, was the home of the Gentlemen’s Society’s founder Maurice Johnson.

Naturally the society’s museum curators who think of themselves as the temporary guardians of Maurice’s ever developing legacy, will be bringing along an array 1940s related objects and articles to share in the celebrations.

Look them up when you get there.

So, this month’s eye-catcher is a battle standard, one that was only recently brought to the museum by a quite rightly proud family.

It was captured at the ‘Battle of Gondar’ by Colour Sergeant Wilfred Walker of the 1st Battalion ‘A’ Company of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders (1934 – 1946)while on secondment to the Kings African Rifles.

I truly, and perhaps a little sadly, suspect that if I walked about town asking people what they knew about the Battle of Gondar as many would tell me that they never read JRR Tolkien’s work as would know what I was talking about!

If I add the date November 1941, then perhaps we’d be only a little the wiser.

I’ll tell you: the Battle of Gondar was the last stand of the Allied Forces against the Italians in Italian East Africa during WWII.

It was an important event and a good outcome and we should always be proud of people, like Wilfred, who helped pave the way to the better future we now enjoy.