Canadian couple donate items remembering March relative to town’s museum

The photograph (attached) shows, from left, John Gray, Edna Stacey, Mary Gray, Richard Munns, Vice-c

The photograph (attached) shows, from left, John Gray, Edna Stacey, Mary Gray, Richard Munns, Vice-chairman and David Edwards, Archivist with the Cavalry Guidon. - Credit: Archant

Two Canadians, with links to the history of March, visited the town’s museum this week to donate items from their family.

John and Mary Gray of Vancouver, who are directly related to Owen Gray, after whom Gray’s Lane is named, brought a mourning ring commemorating Owen Gray’s death on June 11 1824 and also a pair of cuff-links inscribed with the death of his grandfather, John Gray on January 18 1791, aged 41.

Owen Gray was Deputy Lieutenant of the County and also, for 26 years, the captain of the Doddington and Hamlets Cavalry.

The Cavalry Troop was formed in 1798 when a meeting of the inhabitants of the parish of Doddington and the several surrounding hamlets met and unanimously resolved ‘that it is the opinion of this meeting that at the present important crisis it is highly necessary to form ourselves into an association of cavalry and infantry, for the protection of our religion, liberty and laws and which shall be called the United Loyal Association of the Parish of Doddington and its hamlets.’ This was duly reported in the Cambridge Chronicle May 19 1798.

A roll of honour, in St Wendreda’s Church, lists the officers of the troop with Owen Gray shown as captain.

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The troop was eventually disbanded in 1827 when their colours were laid up in St Wendreda’s Church.

In 1997 the colours, or Cavalry Guidon, were found in the loft of the church and donated to March Museum, where they have been on display since being conserved at Hampton Court Palace. Subsequently a book ‘The Grays of Grays Lane’, by Edna Stacey was published by the museum from research that she and David Edwards carried out.

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