The Wrentham Long Drum


Wrentham Long Drum

The drum originally belonged to the Wrentham Volunteers, formed in 1803. In 1804 they were merged with the Blything Hundred Volunteers who were disbanded in 1813. In 1860 a new Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed in Wrentham; the drum was probably used by both corps.


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This drum belonged to the Wrentham Volunteers, formed in 1803 as a defence against a threatened French invasion, and commanded by Captain Gooch. In the following year they were merged into the newly formed Blything Hundred Volunteers: these were disbanded in 1813 when the threat of invasion was clearly over.


In 1859 there was renewed fear in this country that Napoleon III was proposing to invade and the Rifle Volunteer movement was born to counter this perceived threat. In 1860 therefore a volunteer corps – the 15th Suffolk Volunteers – was again formed at Wrentham with about thirty members joining at the first meeting.


This drum was probably used by both corps. It was then given by the then holder to John Allen a builder of Southwold who in turn gave it to E R Cooper (the author of a history of the Volunteer movement in Suffolk and an officer in the 4th Battalion the Suffolk regiment). It was presented to the Suffolk Regiment Museum in 1972 by Miss M Y S Rands in memory of her father the late Lt Col Cyril Rands.

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