By Dan Shea
Herbert “Bert” Woodend, former Custodian of the MOD Pattern Room, died today; Tuesday, 29 July 2003, 16:00 GMT. He was surrounded by family and friends in the last days of his life. I managed to visit with him again on the Friday night prior to his passing, and set for a bit with friends there. Things were tough for him, but he smiled, had a kind word, and listened to our conversations. He will be missed by many. I found out on my flight back to the States, and was left in the company of strangers to reflect a bit on Herb. I wish that I could gain one tenth of the knowledge that he had on firearms history, he was an amazing man.
We are planning a major feature on the closing of the MOD Pattern Room in Nottingham, the movement to the Royal Armories at Leeds, the future of the collection, and some words on Herb as well. That will be in a couple of months. It should be an interesting story for all of us, as several people are collaborating on it.
I would like to share a picture of Herb, in Memoriam, a picture from days gone by at the Enfield Pattern Room that predated the Nottingham facility. Herb is holding a suppressed Erma EMP that he had been fascinated by, and is surrounded by his beloved Pattern Room Collection. Vaya con Dios, my old friend.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V7N1 (October 2003)|