Marilyn Chaloner



On the 17th May 2008 Lieutenant Colonel David Chilton (Rtd), former Curator of The Rifles (Berkshire & Wiltshire) Museum, gave a presentation in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund (Berkshire Committee) at the REME School of Electrical and Aeronautical Engineering at Arborfield Garrison, Reading, Berkshire


Richard Stacpoole-Ryding (Editor) and Andy Chaloner (Deputy Editor) attended the presentation, along with the other five members of the team that helped create the book ‘Maiwand The Last Stand of the 66th Berkshire Regiment in Afghanistan 1880’


With approximately 100 guests in attendance the day began with everyone meeting and catching up on recent events. The whole team expressed a feeling of void following the 18-month period working closely together researching and writing the book.


The hour long presentation, based on the book by Richard Stacpoole-Ryding, was presented in the sumptuous lecture hall by David Chilton who explained the complexities of the battle aided by maps and photographs.



Following a question and answer session, fielded by David Chilton (left), Martin McIntyre and Richard Stacpoole-Ryding, a closing speech was given by Colonel Ian Gibson, the Commanding Officer of the REME School of Electrical and Aeronautical Engineering.






Guests were then invited to take lunch in the Officers’ Mess where a champagne reception was held.

Artefacts and images of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment from the battle were on display by kind permission of The Curator (Colonel Michael Cornwell Rtd.)The Rifles (Berkshire & Wiltshire) Museum, Salisbury.


Pictured left is the helmet and belt worn at the battle of Maiwand by Major Ready who was in charge of G Company and the baggage train. Other items pictured are of British and Afghan weapons including rifles, swords and daggers.


Two of the highlights were Lieutenant Colonel Galbraith’s medal and Bobbie, the regimental dog, who survived the battle and returned to England, only to be run over in the street some months later.


Recounting the story of Bobbie is Lt. Col. David Chilton (right) to a group of guests. Bobbie attracted a good crowd and could be said to have been the centre of attention that day.




Richard Stacpoole-Ryding (left), author of the book, was on hand to sign copies of the book for those guests who bought them. 


He was asked many questions on how he wrote the book and how it was researched. The burning question was what is his next book and when will it be available. The reply was that at present he was having a sabbatical to contemplate that very question!



The day was very successful and all proceeds from the lunch tickets, raffle and book sales raised a goodly sum for the Army Benevolent Fund. For the team that helped create the book it was a fitting setting to close the ‘final chapter’ on a long and exhaustive definitive study on the role of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment and their part in the battle of Maiwand.






The ABF was founded in 1944 to assist the millions of men and women returning to civilian life. It is the Army’s National Charity, committed to the welfare of soldiers, ex-soldiers and their families in times of need. This has become particularly important with the ever-rising casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and other operational zones.


For over sixty years the ABF has worked tirelessly to provide financial and practical support to both the Regular and Territorial Army, and operates in partnership with Regimental and Corps Benevolent Funds, and in close co-operation with other Service Charities.


Each year the ABF needs to raise, and in turn disburse, more that £6 million if it is to be able to fulfil its commitment to those in need.