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Regimental drum

This Regimental Bass Drum is painted with the Hertfordshire Regiment’s crest and battle honours. It was made in 1919 and includes all of the major battles the Regiment was involved in during the First World War as well as South Africa where the 1st Hertfordshire Rifle Volunteers, the Regiment’s antecedents, fought during 1900-1902.

The battle honours listed are:

  • Ypres 1914 – 1918
  • Festubert 1915
  • Loos
  • Somme 1916 – 1918
  • Ancre 1916
  • Pilckem
  • St Quentin
  • Hindenburg Line
  • Sambre
  • France & Flanders 1914 – 1918
  • South Africa 1900 – 1902

The maker’s name, Henry Distin, is embossed onto the metal sound hole of the drum. The Distin family (John, the father, and his four sons, George, Henry John, William Alfred and Theodore) were successful musicians in the nineteenth century, performing as a brass quintet, and later quartet. Alongside their performance the family also manufactured instruments including cornets, trumpets and Henry Distin’s speciality, drums. In 1857 Henry made a monster gong drum for the Handel festival of that year which brought the company great fame.

The heraldry and paint work for the drum was painted by Henry Potter & Co. of Charing Cross, a company that still exists today working with percussion, woodwind and brass instruments.

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