Ever wondered what a DLI soldier's life was like?

Rare evidence of the lives of DLI soldiers are about to be revealed to the North East public.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th July 2019, 01:39 am
Durham Record Office volunteer Bridget Cox and principal archivist Gill Parkes examine paintings and drawings from DLI soldiers which will be catalogued as part of The DLI: A Whole New Story project.

Fascinating stories and images from the Durham Light Infantry archive are about to come to light thanks to the Durham County Record Office.

It includes intricate descriptions of regimental life, personal accounts, photographs and paintings portraying the realities of war.

There’s a detailed 1885 black and red ink drawing of the battlefield at Ginnis in the Sudan. It is from one of the sketchbooks of Lieutenant, later Captain, Alfred William Baker of the 2nd Battalion DLI.

An ink drawing of the battlefield at Ginnis in the Sudan by Captain Alfred William Baker of the 2nd Battalion DLI - ref D/DLI Acc 9218;

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There’s also a watercolour of Abbs Battery at Sunderland from the records of Lieutenant General Horatio Harbord Morant from the 68th Light Infantry. It depicts Roker Pier lighthouse and is dated 1874.

The Record Office has received a grant of almost £39,000 to bring to light uncatalogued material.

Archivists and volunteers will document the 39 per cent of the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Archive collection yet to be catalogued. It will reveal enthralling tales never been told before.

Councillor Joy Allen, Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism at Durham County Council, said: “The extensive DLI Archive is of international significance and cataloguing this material will enable us to shed further light on our rich and varied past and

A watercolour of Abbs Battery at Sunderland, from the records of Lieutenant General Horatio Harbord Morant from the 68th Light Infantry - ref D/DLI Acc 8392.

ensure that the DLI’s history and heritage is not lost.”

She thanked the Archives Revealed panel ‘for awarding this grant, which also offers a fantastic opportunity to enhance our exciting plans for a new Durham History Centre.’