I was in Sherborne Abbey today, and in this magnificent church were the colours of the Dorsetshire Regiment from the 19th century all hanging from flag poles after having been laid up. Most are now threadbere,some even see through and just about all would turn to dust if you touched them. Underneath them in a frame was the following poem

A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole,
It does not look likely to stir a man’s soul,
‘Tis the deeds that were done ‘neath the moth-eaten rag,
When the pole was a staff and the rag was a flag.

I found it very stirring and thought I would share it with you all
Written by Sir Edward Hamly on seeing the Colours of the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot.

32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Colours

The 32nd eventually joins The Rifles, via teh LI, Duke of Cornwall's LI.

If you really want poignant visit the Brecon Cathedral. The Colours of the 2nd/24th are now encased in 'fishtanks' of preservative to prevent the degradation you mention.

And in the corner of the Church there is the 'stick'. No COlours, they were torn off by two ensigns of the 1st/24th and gallopped to safety. The flag, wrapped around one Ensigns waist, saved him. The Zulues who caught him thought he must be very mportant to have such a colourful belt!

The 'stick' was used as the Zulu Kings walking stick/staff of ffice for a while. Before being recaptured.

Ditto the Chapple for the South Lancs Regiment in Warrington. Lots of 'moth eaten flags', there too.

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