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2015-05 English Herald visits NYC
Monday, 2 March 2015

L to R: Your editor, then David V. White, Somerset Herald, and SSA Member John A. Logan.

David V. White, Somerset Herald of the College of Arms in England, lectured last night
at the New York Biographical and Genealogical Society in New York City on Heraldry of The Great War ( WW1).

The Lecture was from the English perspective, of course. German armigers were unmentioned except certain German Royals who got the order of the boot from the Order of the Garter.

What made the talk fascinating was hearing about folks with interesting arms such as Sir William Mills (Knight Bachelor - 1922) for his invention & manufacture of the Mills Bomb (read: fragmentation grenade). His arms were charged with his grenades - even his crest, I believe.

One can look up the peers & baronets for blazons and illustrations but not simple knights. Neither Burke's nor Debrett's gives blazons of knights' arms. I think one must write the College of Arms to ask for a modern blazon of a knight (that is, anyone not in Burke's General Armory of 1884 ).

The arms of many famous admirals and generals were shown and described, including their supporters: Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty (1st Earl Beatty ), Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes (1st Baron Keyes), Field Marshal Sir John French (1st Earl of Ypres) and Maj-Gen Sir Henry Rawlinson, Bt., to name a few.

BUT not mentioned were the arms of the Scottish Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, (1st Earl Haig) who, like Beatty, was given £100,000 and the thanks of Parliament in 1919. He was C-in-C. of the BEF 1915-1919. Haig's reputation at the time, and thereafter, has been affected by concerns over the number of men who died or were wounded during many of his offensive operations. "In Flanders fields the poppies grow . . . . "

This was one lecture I'm glad not to have missed.

Photo: John Shannon

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