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Solicitors enable lost artefact to be enjoyed by the public

Author: Online Stories Published: 1st August 2019 14:43



 Humphries Kirk was able to play a pivotal role in helping to identify an important historical artefact and enable it to be enjoyed by the general public.

The firm acts for Mr. Keith Bamlet, farmer of Frome Whitfield farm, near Dorchester. Mr. Bamlet's family have farmed in Dorset for generations and he is the third generation at Frome Whitfield.

Whilst cleaning out some of his farm buildings, Mr. Bamlet came across an old wooden trunk with writing on it relating to a military unit based in Dorset.

James Selby Bennett, a partner at Humphries Kirk, is also a trustee of the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester and was able to request help from its previous curator, Mr. Christopher Copson, in order to identify the markings and discover the trunk's origins.

Along with assistance from Major Nick Speakman, a former trustee and volunteer at the museum, and Mr. Rex Lovell, a volunteer historian specialising in local military matters, the chest has been linked to Sergeant Augustus Henry Newnham, military number 7902. He was later assigned military number 571 9357 and served in the second Battalion of the Dorset Regiment.

Mr. Bamlet commented: "I am astonished how much information can be gleaned from this old trunk. I do not know precisely how it came to be in one of my farm buildings, but my family have been farmers in this area for so long that there must no doubt be some kind of connection. I am very impressed that the museum can provide this sort of detailed information and I'm delighted to donate the trunk to the Keep Military Museum."

Christopher Copson added: "The Keep Military Museum is pleased to receive this artefact to join the very large collection of local and international historical artefacts in the museum available to be viewed by the general public. We are most grateful to Mr. Bamlet for his gift of the chest and for an additional donation."

James Selby Bennet commented: "I am very pleased to have been able to assist in this matter. It is an interesting example of the very strong links between the military life of our county and the civilian and rural life of Dorset. I hope and believe that the Keep Military Museum will continue to provide that link and will be able to encourage its volunteers and friends, who in this instance were able to discover the information which provided the historical background of this artefact, which makes it all the more fascinating."

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