It thus gives me great pleasure to introduce the first post from another good friend, "Steve M" who has contributed regularly to the blog behind the scenes so to speak with his participation in many of the games featured here and he brings his interest and insights in different aspects and periods within the hobby that will add yet more interesting content to JJ's.
What follows is Steve's report on several Regimental Museums visited interspersed with pictures from the trip.
Having being advised by JJ that I missed the opportunity to become a ‘roving reporter’ when not taking any pictures on a visit to ‘The Rifles (Berkshire & Wiltshire) Museum’ in Salisbury earlier in the year; I hoped to redeem myself on a recent trip to Winchester in Hampshire, where I visited five military museums in a day!
The Wardrobe - Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire & Wiltshire
I only took pictures in three, for various reasons. One didn’t allow it, which was strange considering all the others did, and the other was quite small, of less interest to me, and I was running out of space on my memory card!!
|Private 60th Royal American Regiment c1758|
Anthony Baker, 1986), nicknames and amalgamations.
If you’re interested in that kind of thing, I would recommended ‘A companion to the British Army 1660-1983’, David Ascoli, 1983. Clearly a bit out of date now, but good to have as a reference if you
want to know the process of amalgamation for your local, or favourite Regiment and their ‘precedence’ when on parade. Now is not the time to do a full review, but as the author points out,
‘this is neither a history of the British Army, nor a chronicle of battles and campaigns’ (p11). As an
aside, if anyone knows of a good book which guides you through the amalgamations from 1983 onwards, I’d be interested.
|General Wolfe's original sash from Quebec|
for local Regimental Museums,
and as mentioned had tied in a visit to the museum to Salisbury following a trip to the Chalke Valley history festival. The website enables you to search by geographic area, so pulling up the South West; I found that there were five military museums in Winchester. So following a planned weekend in Essex with my sister, I set off to Winchester for a stopover on the way back to Devon, and I wasn’t disappointed!
|Jacket of Lt. Colonel Hunt 52nd Light Infantry - Peninsular War|
|Light Infantry Officers Pattern Sword.|
Lt. Dawson 52nd Light Infantry, died
of his wounds at Waterloo
considering the size of the museum (‘museum’ being rather a grand description!). The Hampshire’s
is also free, but there is a drum for donations, and I duly obliged. The Green Jackets and Gurkhas are
£4 each, but if you ‘gift aid’ in the Green Jackets you get 12 months free return visits. The entry into
the Hussars cost £2.
On the day, I arrived around 10.30. Parking is limited, but free, I got a visitors pass from the Green
Jackets museum. The barracks is close to the town centre, so if you have to park further away it’s not
too far. I went round in the following order; Green Jackets, a good hour if not hour and a half; coffee
and cake in the cafe followed by the Adjutant General’s Corps, 15-20 minutes. A 5 minute walk to the Hampshire’s, about 30-40 minutes in there, back to the Hussars, about 30 minutes in there, across to the Gurkha’s, around 40 minutes in there. I finished around 3.30, but timings are very approximate,
as I wasn’t keeping a close eye. It would certainly be easier to spend longer in most of them.
|Officers jacket, 5th Battalion, 60th Regiment (Rifles)|
standard of JJ! I was using a Sony ‘Cyber-shot’, which only has six mega pixels! However, what it does have is the ability to adjust settings to a far greater degree than my phone camera. On the camera most looked ok after some experimentation, but some were disappointing when transferred to the laptop!
The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum
‘Tracing the history of the 43rd & 52nd, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry; the 60th Rifles, The Kings Royal rifle Corps and the 95th Rifles, The Rifle Brigade, who, in 1966 merged to form The Royal Green Jackets, which in 2007 became part of today’s Regiment, ‘The Rifles’ (from the museum leaflet).
|Original jacket of Lt. Walter Clarke, 2nd Battalion, 95th Rifles c1814|
pictures, unfortunately my ‘close up’ was unusable!
But I did find one here
Outside the front of the museum is a statue of Field Marshal John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton.
Commander of the 52nd Light Infantry at Waterloo, credited with a deceive contribution to the
defeat of the Old Guard (or winning the battle, depending on your view!)
This was the best visit for me, tracing the history of the Regiments from the French & Indian Wars,
when the 60th was raised, through Waterloo, the Indian Mutiny, the Boer War, WW1, WW2 up to
the present day, where there is a small part of the museum dedicated to ‘The Rifles’. Currently (until
11th September) there is also a special exhibition comparing Waterloo with the first day of the Somme; weapons, rations, medical facilities etc.
|The 'Nock' gun made famous in the Sharpe TV series|
particular is a bit of a weight!
The model dedicated to ‘Rifleman Harris’ is quite impressive (see the header to this post - Ed)
|Clip from the Sharpe TV series with left Captain "Sweet" William Fredrickson, 60th Rifles played by Philip Whitchurch,|
Richard Sharpe played of course by Sean Bean and Sergeant Patrick Harper seen here with his 'Nock' played by
and light effects. There is a picture on the museum website (mine failed!)
There are some other very nice dioramas, including the storming of the Kashmir gate, Dehli, 1857
during the Indian mutiny, and the taking of Pegasus Bridge during the D Day landings. Unfortunately
neither of my pictures came out very well!
|Snipe 1 - 1942|
I hope the pictures give you a flavour of the visit, but I don’t feel they do justice to what, in my
opinion, is a very good Regimental Museum.
This is a really useful link for tracing back the formation and history of the Royal Green Jackets and its founding Regiments.
An excellent reference for the complete story of the Rifles is ‘The Rifles chronology 1865-2013’
compiled by Col Ted Shields MBE
It was then time for ‘coffee & cake’, with only a short walk to the ‘Cafe Peninsula’ and the
‘Guardroom Museum’, which houses the Museum of the Adjutant General’s Corps (AGC).
‘From the Army’s Pay Department to the Women’s Royal Army Corps and the current Corps’ role
supporting the British Army of today, the Guardroom Museum provides a fascinating insight into the
Army’s administrative services’ (taken from ‘Winchester’s Military Museums’ leaflet).
A nice little museum (so small it doesn’t have its own website, the Corps was only formed in 1992),
without being of major interest to me in particular. I saved the space of my memory card in here, so
no pictures, but I did find an interesting little snippet about the Women’s Royal Army Corps Band,
formed in 1949. For forty-five years, until 1994, they were the first and only all female band in the British Army. Well I found it interesting!
More information on the AGC can be found here;
Next up, unless this is my first & last entry as a roving reporter??! The Royal Hampshire’s, the Royal
Hussars and the Gurkhas.