Why the Army’s Guidon was removed from church roof
WHEN the army needed assistance in safely retreiving its historical colours which date back 90 years from the ceiling of St Andrews Anglican Church in Lismore, the local fire brigade stepped up, literally.
Last year Fire and Rescue C-Platoon Lismore assisted the 41st Battalion Association to carefully remove its colours, known as a Guidon, which features battle honours to commemorate their participation in the Boer War and First World War, and has been hung inside the church since 1987.
Association president Norm Clapham MBE, 84, and project manager John Knight, 73, visited the Molesworth St fire station on Monday to formally thank Station Officer Ian Grimwood and the platoon with a letter acknowledging their invaluable help.
“We really appreciated the support from the firefighters as the colours were laid up in the lofty heights of the Warriors Chapel in St Andrews, at least 6m high”, Mr Clapham said.
“With age and deterioration setting in, the decision was made to remove it and have it restored for display in a glass case, so that future generations can appreciate its historical significance.
Mr Knight, said in 1913 approval was granted for the Light Horse Regiments of the Australian Army to possess and carry Guidons similar in design to those sanctioned for the Dragoon Regiments of the British Army.
“This particular Guidon was originally presented to the Northern Rivers Lancers after the Boer War of 1899-1902, which became the 15th Light Horse Regiment during WWI,” he said.
“We were fortunate to receive a $1500 Federal Grant to have the Guidon preserved and must thank Parish Secretary Stephen Hall.”
SO Grimwood said it was an honour to provide assistance to St Andrew’s Anglican Church and the 41st Infantry Battalion Association, in removing the Guidon,
He said firefighters used a long ladder to retrieve the guidon which hung from a pike and has great historical importance.
“Over the years since, the Guidon has deteriorated and the 41st Infantry Battalion Association has completed a project to preserve the Guidon, rather than let it be lost forever,” he said.
“To assist with its preservation, the Guidon has been framed by association member and cabinetmaker Rex Casson and is now in a protective case with a plaque and on view inside the Warrior’s Chapel at St Andrew’s.”