Eighteen gallons of Nottingham beer will toast the Olympics and a gallant Bingham-born cavalry officer in a celebration in Windsor when his campaign decorations and his Olympic gold medal go on view to the public as the games start.
The beer, brewed by Castle Rock in its Famous Nottinghamians series, celebrates Major Arthur Laurence Rook’s unique place in Britain’s military and sporting history. He alone won both the military cross and an Olympic Gold. Now both are on display alongside his other campaign and ceremonial medals at Windsor. They have been donated to the Household Cavalry Museum at Combermere Barracks by his widow, Jane Rook.
Now on show at Windsor are Major Rook’s Military Cross, 1939-1945 Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, 1939-1945 War Medal, Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal and his Olympic Gold.
Castle Rock Brewery’s contribution to the celebrations was collected from Nottingham by three current members of the Household Cavalry, Warrant Officer Peter Ireland, Lance Corporal of Horse Ifan Evans and Corporal of Horse Darren Bond. Following a brewery tour, they were presented with the ale and commemorative pump clips.
“This has been a very enjoyable and pleasant experience for us all, and we can’t wait to tell the lads about Nottingham and its real ale,” said W/O Peter Ireland. “Learning about the process has opened our eyes and our taste buds. We are all very proud of Major Rook and we’re looking forward to the mess celebration of his success.”
Major Rook was born in Bingham in 1921, the son of Colonel William Rook and his wife Dorothy. His military career began in the maritime artillery before joining the Royal Horse Guards. His bravery in crossing a minefield to capture a German warrant officer earned him his MC in 1944. Always a keen horseman, he won the individual title at the European Championships in 1953 and went on to represent Great Britain in the Three Day Event at the 1956 summer Olympics held in Stockholm. Restrictions on horse movements meant no trip to Australia for Major Rook and his team mates. It did however, result in the team taking the Gold Medal with Major Rook finishing sixth.
The Nottingham Celebration Ale, Major Arthur Laurence Rook, is a 4.2% fruity, floral pale ale with Sybilla hops. It is one of the four in pubs each year to celebrate the life and work of local heroes and heroines.If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!