As a jobbing scribe, I rarely know what is going to be my next commission, but the one for the Royal Regiment of Artillery was one of the most interesting.
The years 2016 marked the Regiment’s tercentenary, and to celebrate this a group of their soldiers circumnavigated the globe. They took with them a specially commissioned titanium baton, inside of which was the vellum scroll being presented to The Queen on the right.
While the wording was being finalised, I experimented with the initial suggestions, knowing that the text would have to be quite small as the scroll needed to fit inside the baton. A tercentenary is a major achievement so I thought that a few flourishes here and there would add to the celebratory feel.
I then heard that the requirement was for no flourishes and a black and white image so adjusted things accordingly. The space below the citation on the right was for the signatures (see first picture above) which were written during the circumnavigation by Commonwealth Artilleries sending their greetings to The Queen, who is the Captain General of the Gunners.
It was a challenge to draw the Royal Arms and the Regiment’s badge as small as it needed to be, and the wheel of the gun carriage was actually just over 5 mm in the end. Despite the vellum going round the world, it arrived back to me for stretching in remarkably good condition – all credit to the soldiers who were involved.
This is another picture of The Queen inspecting the scroll, which has here been stretched over a piece of wood to keep the vellum flat.
However, this wasn’t the end of the story for me. I had the thrill of being invited to lunch, the special parade and the presentation of the baton and the scroll to The Queen. Being in the Royal Enclosure really was something special and we were this close to Her Majesty! It was a absolutely joyous day with families involved in watching marching bands, tug of war, gun carriage racing, a concert, and ending in fireworks. It was all such a treat and quite a change for me as I usually sit in my quiet workroom scratching away with a quill on vellum.