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Name that duck !!!

Apart from Roger's own research files we also have correspondence to people that he had written to looking for help. In 2003, Roger had inquired of Dr Russell Hunter in California about his time as an American soldier in Chard. We have a couple of photos in the Museum that we would like to know about even now.

One is of a group of soldiers lined up with the central soldier holding a duck! The reply came that the men were, either, Infantry or Artillery and that the duck probably came from the stream that ran alongside the road in front of the camp, but as Dr Hunter remarks, ‘although he {the duck} looks remarkably tame’.

Another photo is of a black American soldier talking to two British policemen in an office. Dr Hunter said 'that a Black unit was used for engineers does not surprise me; sadly, in those days, we used blacks for non-combat duties only, often either as Quartermasters or Engineers.'

Surprisingly, recycling was a topic in one of letters. Roger had asked about a 'midden' or what Dr Hunter called a 'trash heap or dump'. There must have been one he said, because all their food came in cans, paper or cardboard containers. 'We were a careless and heedless lot, and most of the trash, would, I believe would have been things like tin cans, paper and other material. Oversupplied as we were, I doubt that we engaged in the kind of 'recycling' that, without a doubt, the British had been accustomed to for years.'

Dr Hunter mentions an excavation that was going to take place in the near future at the Reservoir and expressed his doubts that any hand grenades or explosives would be found but, 'Probably using mechanical equipment to dig would be a good idea"!

The reason that I have picked these letters is that I would appreciate any information that readers might have about the American or Polish soldiers in Chard. We have two projects on the go at the moment. One that stated last year as a rsult of Black Lives Matter and the other more recently on Migration. All help gratefully received, please email Gerrie at

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