The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum

The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum showcases the history of the County Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire and their more recent successors.
(18)

18/04/2020

The Wardrobe has been a spectacular building in the close for about 800 years, the Regiment acquired it in the late 1970's and it has housed the museum collection ever since, we love this building and we hope you do to.

Follow the DrumMrs TURNER - 62nd Wiltshire Regiment ‘Following the drum’ was a term used in Victorian times in relation ...
17/04/2020

Follow the Drum

Mrs TURNER - 62nd Wiltshire Regiment

‘Following the drum’ was a term used in Victorian times in relation to the wives of soldiers serving throughout the empire.

Each Regiment was allocated a certain number of married women on the roll. In barracks they carried out a number of tasks which supplemented their income. When on operations they shared the dangers of their menfolk This is illustrated by the experience of a MRS LOUISA TURNER. She was the wife of Sergeant James TURNER of the 62nd Wiltshire Regiment who was placed on the strength of the Regiment a few months after he enlisted and proceeded at once to India.

During the Battle of Ferozeshah in 1845 she together with several other wives, and children were shut up in a mud hut fort with only a few natives to guard them. She afterwards assisted in attending to the wounded, having the honour of riding back to camp on one of the captured guns. She was later involved in the wreck of the Regiments boats on the Ganges, having given birth to their son William only three days before.

She was saved by her husband swimming to her rescue. On returning from India on board the ‘Himalaya’ her daughter narrowly escaped burial at sea, having actually been wrapped up in the winding sheet.

When interviewed in later years she recalled

“One morning at Ferozeshah the woman and children were driven like sheep into a great mud fort, where they waited, with the wounded and dying, every woman weeping for her ‘Man’ and the stores of ammunition all buried under their feet. They would clamour for news of the fighting till the colonel cried ‘Oh women, go in and go to bed’ and they would meet the batches of wounded and ask, ‘How is the 62nd getting on.'

There was Corporal HOLLINGSWORTH, who said, ‘Oh they be all dead by this’ and ‘Oh, didn’t that upset me’ cries Mrs Turner and ‘Here I be still, thanks god’ says her husband. Corporal NEWPORT says, ‘There’s Mrs TURNER looking for her husband, and I see him lying dead’ and I took on dreadful, but somebody says, ‘Don’t fret, there’s your husband’, and there he was a-serving out the grog’
‘And a lot we poor women died just with the shock and the fright’.

Despite the museum being closed for a while our contacts and supporters continue to send into our Volunteer researchers’...
17/04/2020

Despite the museum being closed for a while our contacts and supporters continue to send into our Volunteer researchers’ items of interest.

The latest is a Christmas Card from the Depot in Reading [Later Brock Barracks], dated 1909-10. At first glance it may have been of limited interest as the museum hold numerous examples of Regimental Xmas cards through the years. But this card is new to us, and the museum does not have a copy.

Of particular interest are the two photos inside the card which show the front entrance to the barracks at that time, and even more interesting the second showing recruits drilling on the square which is totally new to us.

These types of images assist us in linking the regiments past together in a meaningful way.

16/04/2020
BBC One

BBC One

🎉 WHAT A HERO 🎉

Captain Tom Moore has completed his 100 lengths before his 100th birthday and raised more than £12 MILLION for NHS Charities Together 👏

BBC Three Counties

TALES FROM THE ARCHIVEBecause the worldwide Corona virus has now taken hold and with the NHS is being assisted by the Mi...
16/04/2020

TALES FROM THE ARCHIVE

Because the worldwide Corona virus has now taken hold and with the NHS is being assisted by the Military, we have looked into our regimental records to see if there are any examples of our former regiments being deployed on similar tasks in the past.

We have found that the 1st Battalion (Duke of Edinburghs) Wiltshire Regiment were deployed on Plague duties in aid of the civil authorities in Karachi [Now Pakistan] in 1897. The detachment that was deployed consisted of volunteers only. A report after the plaque subsided raised the very same issues that are relevant today, with movement being restricted and people being ordered to stay at home. They did have a problem with the sick having to go to hospitals based on religious lines.

Our records show:-

Whilst the 1st Battalion were in Karachi in 1897 a plague took hold killing many thousands of locals. Without good discipline the local British forces were as vulnerable as anyone else. The Wiltshire Regiment lost no soldiers to the Plague. Here we see the 'Plague detachment' examining guard under the command of Lieutenant T Roche. Their role was to set up roadblocks to stop the local population travelling, and also to conduct house to house searches to locate dead bodies and arrange for supervised disposal.

A government instruction read :- 'The treasury officer at Karachi is authorised to issue to the commanding officer 1st Wiltshire Regiment, the sum of Rupees sixteen thousand three hundred and seventy three. The amount is chargeable to the civil department, Bombay’.

A detachment under Lieutenant Beadon on duty at Sukkur later wrote 'The detachment furnishes a patrol of three men nightly on the bridge - this duty being performed during the day by the native police; they prevent all intercourse between Sukkur and Rohri. Our chief duty consists in searching for the plague-stricken, finding them, and sending those affected off to hospital, whilst segregating other remainder'.

Private 2390 H Bodman, who was employed on plague duty at Karachi from 25 March to 7 August 1897 was presented with a certificate confirming that he did 'good' work. He was chiefly employed on Sanitary duty.

TALES FROM THE REGIMENTAL ARCHIVEDid you know?? …..The Royal Berkshire Regiment played an important role in the formatio...
27/03/2020

TALES FROM THE REGIMENTAL ARCHIVE

Did you know?? …..The Royal Berkshire Regiment played an important role in the formation of IRAQ. [Formerly Mesopotamia]

After the First World War the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment after reforming were almost on constant ‘active service’ up to 1924. They returned to Mesopotamia remaining there until November 1921. During this deployment the battalion lived and operated in rough conditions, carrying out long marches, raids and other operations against locals described as ‘Bandits’. Although on active service they took the Colours with them.

In 1921 they were the lead battalion for the Coronation of Emir (Prince) Faisal I as King of Iraq on 23 August 1921. The battalion was selected by General Headquarters to find a Guard of Honour and band at the coronation of AMIR FEISAL as King of ‘IRAQ’ (Mesopotamia’s new name).
The officers in command.
Captain H. Pawle, O.B.E.
Lieutenant A.P. Aveline, M.C.
2nd Lieutenant A.D. Brown. [Colour]

The guard consisted of 25 other ranks from each company - Total 100. The Regimental Colour was taken on parade carried by 2nd Lieutenant A.D. Brown and lowered when the AMIR was proclaimed, the band playing the Royal Salute. The historic square was decorated with hundreds of the black, red, green and white national flag of ‘Iraq’. Troops from the Iraq Army were drawn up around the Barrack Square.

Our photograph shows the King on a throne together with British dignitaries. In the background you will see the Royal Berkshire Regiment Guard of Honour. The area is covered with the new IRAQ flags. Sergeant Ashley ‘obtained' one of these flags and it has remained in the Regimental collection ever since. The second image shows the remains of this flag. We suspect it will be the oldest original flag for this country in the UK [Unless you know differently.]

As you can all gather, the museum is now closed until we get the all clear. But the staff are still working and we can b...
27/03/2020
Donate :: The Wardrobe

As you can all gather, the museum is now closed until we get the all clear. But the staff are still working and we can be contacted via Facebook or on our Website.

As our visitors can not come to us we have decided to bring the museum to them. We aim to post Tales from the Archives showing some of the amazing stories and people from our regiments.

We have quite a few followers but would love to see more people being able to access our stories and we are here to answer queries from any research people are undertaking. So please like and share this page for us.

We have a donation page on our website for anyone wanting to support us in these difficult times.

https://www.thewardrobe.org.uk/support-us/donate

Do you have an item in your possession that you think might be of interest to us and would like to offer it to our collection?

12/03/2020

We apologise for the inconvenience but we have had to close the museum temporarily. We shall let you all know when we are back up and open.

About Salisbury
11/03/2020

About Salisbury

One week to go until the showing at the Radnor Hall! There are tickets still available either from the Radnor Arms or Sally Nelson.

For more information on the Secret Spitfires or to make a donation to the memorial, which is being built as we speak, go to www.secretspitfiresmemorial.org.uk

Look at these amazing gifts that have been donated to the museum from The Society of Friends (The Redcoats) in February ...
06/03/2020

Look at these amazing gifts that have been donated to the museum from The Society of Friends (The Redcoats) in February 2020.

Many of their members are former serving officers and soldiers of the Regiment, but there are others from across the spectrum of society, particularly from Berkshire and Wiltshire, who support the work of the Museum through their membership and association.

To find out more about the Society of Friends follow the link or pop into the museum for an application form.

https://www.thewardrobe.org.uk/support-us/museum-friends

Salisbury Monopoly
26/02/2020

Salisbury Monopoly

24 HOURS TO ‘GO’

Just 24 hours or so to ‘GO’ until polls close for landmarks to feature on our brand new Salisbury MONOPOLY game.

Voting closes at 23.59pm tomorrow (Wednesday). The game will hit the shelves this October.

You can post here or to: [email protected]

P.S. Stay posted later in week when we will be making a BIG announcement about Salisbury Monopoly!

We are proud to host the beginning of the blind veterans walk on the 15th March.
19/02/2020

We are proud to host the beginning of the blind veterans walk on the 15th March.

We are very excited by the opening of our new exhibition, which also shows off our new touchscreen interactive.
19/02/2020

We are very excited by the opening of our new exhibition, which also shows off our new touchscreen interactive.

Can anyone guess who is working in disguise in the museum today???
06/02/2020

Can anyone guess who is working in disguise in the museum today???

DAY OUT & STAY
10/01/2020

DAY OUT & STAY

Situated in Salisbury, The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum highlights the service to sovereign and country from 1743 of the men of Berkshire and Wiltshire.
Also home to The Royal Green Jacket Regiment.

It highlights the actions of the regiments and individuals over the last 270+ years.

Houses over 40,000 objects in the collection which is recorded on a database making them digitally available to view online.

And showcases an outstanding collection of uniforms, weapons medals and much more.

Throughout there are illustrations of great bravery, valour and heroism.

The Museum tells the story of the infantryman from the Seven Years War to the present day.

With historical talks, guided tours it offers a fascinating insight into our history during times of conflict.

1916 The battle of The Somme...discover what the men from this regiment did in this infamous battle.

Open Monday to Saturday
10-5pm last admission 4.15pm

They Rifleman's Table a Cafe with casual dining is open as well as the venue hire and the wonderful gardens which is suitable for wedding receptions, celebrations, garden parties, theatre displays, corporate events, performances or demonstrations plus more give them a call 01722 419419
www.facebook.com/The-Rifles-Berkshire-and-Wiltshire-Museum

Images:Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum

www.thewardrobe.org.uk

#visitwiltshire
#weremember #visitengand #ww1 #ww2 #daysoutuk #historical #museum #trafalgar #familydaysout #wedding #events #militaria #militarymuseum #theatre #reenactment #exhibitions #demonstration #privatehire #corporateevents @ The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum

We are looking forward to our new exhibition in the new year.  In 2020 we will be looking back at the individual stories...
20/12/2019

We are looking forward to our new exhibition in the new year. In 2020 we will be looking back at the individual stories of some of the soldiers that were with the Wiltshire & Royal Berkshire Regiments during 1940 when the orders to evacuate through Dunkirk was ordered.

There's lots going on around The Close this weekend, we are open both Saturday & Sunday, our fabulous new café is now op...
11/12/2019

There's lots going on around The Close this weekend, we are open both Saturday & Sunday, our fabulous new café is now open and we have a special medal make & take for families to have fun with on the Saturday. We would love to see you there!

Thank you to all who went to visit the trees, if you missed ours come and pop by over the weekend and enjoy our new café...
11/12/2019

Thank you to all who went to visit the trees, if you missed ours come and pop by over the weekend and enjoy our new café which is now open as well.

Great to see so many of our businesses getting involved and supporting the St Thomas's Church Christmas Tree Festival!🎄🎄

Be sure to visit before the festival finishes on Sunday!

https://christmasinsalisbury.co.uk/events/christmas-tree-festival/

Casa Fina Chas H Baker The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum Salisbury Cathedral School Whites Estate Agents Mompesson House National Trust OSOboutique H R Tribbeck & Son Roly's Fudge Pantry Salisbury Dinghams Cookshop

The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum
22/11/2019

The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum

The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum
22/11/2019

The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum

We've been ultra busy here at the wardrobe for the last couple of months so apologies for how quiet we have been.  We ar...
22/11/2019

We've been ultra busy here at the wardrobe for the last couple of months so apologies for how quiet we have been. We are looking forward to installing our new exhibition on Dunkirk for next year, welcoming new school groups, we've created new family craft days and are celebrating our first season of talks! Thank you to all of you that have attended shared and commented on our posts this year. Also exciting news look out for our new Café which is being renovated as we speak and will be open soon!

Are you researching your family history?  Or are you thinking how do I start?  We have a talk coming up on the 15th Octo...
02/10/2019

Are you researching your family history? Or are you thinking how do I start? We have a talk coming up on the 15th October 2:30pm that will help you with your research. Michael Cornwell will be talking about how museums like us can help with family history. Go to our events page for more information. We look forward to seeing you there.

Salisbury AFD up for national award
01/10/2019
Salisbury AFD up for national award

Salisbury AFD up for national award

The three day celebration in the city this summer is in the running to be crowned the national Event of the Year.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride unites classic and vintage style motorcycle riders all over the world to raise funds ...
30/09/2019
Salisbury Ride - The 2019 Distinguished Gentlemans Ride

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride unites classic and vintage style motorcycle riders all over the world to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. It was a slow parade through the city centre with riders dressed in dapper clothing. We were privileged to host their event here at The Wardrobe.
If you would like to find more out about this group: https://www.gentlemansride.com/rides/england/salisbury

Royal Air Force
27/09/2019

Royal Air Force

Tonight on BBC Four is the television premiere of Spitfire.

See if you can spot any Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Official) aircraft!

OPERATION BANNER50th Anniversary of the British Army's deployment to Ulster1st BATTALION -1971In 1971 the Battalion was ...
04/09/2019

OPERATION BANNER
50th Anniversary of the British Army's deployment to Ulster

1st BATTALION -1971
In 1971 the Battalion was the 'spearhead' Battalion and on stand-by for deployment anywhere in the world to protect British interests. On 22 April that year the Battalion was dispatched to Londonderry, remaining until 28 May.

They were based in an empty factory in Drumahoe just outside Londonderry. During the short deployment the Battalion conducted operations in Tyrone, Fermanagh and Antrim, with ‘C’ Company detached for a brief period in the city of Londonderry under the command of the 2nd Parachute Battalion. This tour was relatively peaceful with a few minor finds to their credit. On the 28th May the Battalion returned to Catterick to prepare for its move to Berlin. Thus the Battalion had an involvement in the first three years of ‘The Troubles’ .

The image is of Corporal Bruce Wollen and his section confront some locals during one of the early riots.

OPERATION BANNER50th Anniversary of the British Army's deployment to Ulster ‘B’ COMPANY - 1970The following year ‘B’ Com...
03/09/2019

OPERATION BANNER
50th Anniversary of the British Army's deployment to Ulster
‘B’ COMPANY - 1970

The following year ‘B’ Company were to have a short but very violent deployment - In June 1970 ‘B’ Company and the Drums together with a troop from 14th Light Regiment, Royal Artillery, were dispatched at short notice to Belfast to reinforce the Royal Scots. The company commander, Maj. Godwin-Austen, later remembered 'On the morning of the 3rd July we conducted Lord Balniel, the Defence Minister, around our company area in an atmosphere of relaxed euphoria and bonhomie. Friendly Irish neighbours gave our patrols tea and sandwiches.

By nightfall we were locked in a gun battle with snipers in which at least five civilians were killed and nearly 800 rounds of 7.62 ammunition were fired by British troops. The violent situation started after a search of a house in Balken Street for arms and ammunition by the Royal Scots and RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) in which fifteen pistols, one rifle, a Schmeisser sub-machine gun and a quantity of ammunition and explosives were found. This find sparked off some of the bloodiest rioting that the Province had seen to date. By the end eighteen soldiers were suffering from gunshot and grenade splinter wounds, five civilians died, and 300 people were detained, and for the first time an area of Belfast had been placed under military curfew. ‘B’ Company was involved in serious rioting in the Falls Road area of Belfast, in the course of which several men were injured by gelignite bombs.

In the operations that followed an officer and two soldiers of the Gloucestershire Regiment were shot and wounded. During this period ‘B’ Coy expended 488 CS cartridges, 64 CS Grenades and several rounds of 7.62mm ball ammunition. Suddenly at the far end of the street a double decker bus appeared. The rioters commandeered it, drove it towards the company and finally placed it across the road about 30 yards in front of them. There was a pause during which they prepared to move forward to the area of the bus. Suddenly without warning, there were a series of shattering bangs in and around them. Soldiers were blown backwards, and they thought they were at the wrong end of grenades – and they were! All together they had seven bombs thrown at them.

With this new development the platoons scattered to a tactical deployment against the walls of buildings. Eight members of 5 Platoon were injured, three having been dragged from the ranks giving a clear indication of the scale of the ferocity. The two most badly injured were Sergeant Potter (later awarded a Queens Commendation) and Private Fern'.

The image is of ‘B’ Company during the Falls Road engagement.

Address

The Wardrobe, 58 The Close
Salisbury
SP1 2EX

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

01722 419419

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.


Comments

This is perhaps my most treasured photograph. It is of my late grandmother, Gladys Topping, and her first husband Robert Thompson. Both came from families that went back many generations in Blackpool. They were childhood sweethearts. Robert was killed in action on 13th June 1918. The photograph was taken in Blackpool after he was sent home to recover from a gunshot wound to the leg. Several days after the picture was taken, Robert returned to the Western Front and was assigned to a new unit, The Royal Berkshire Regiment. He was killed after being with them only a couple of weeks. It is a sobering thought that, but for the sacrifice of this brave young man who most members of my wonderful family have never even heard of before, none of us would have been born. Robert's body was never found. His name appears on the Loos Memorial which remembers those men who have no known grave.
I hope everyone's well. I'd just like to note great thanks to the team at the Wardrobe for their help and generosity with a booklet Reading Libraries are working on about the Maiwand Lion, and for a really brilliant piece of customer service online😊!
Due in hardback published by Fonthill Media in April 2020. The author was RMO to the Royal Wessex Yeomanry for 22 years.
As a member of the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment 1954 to 1956, demonstration Batt. Also a member of the 4/6th Royal Berkshire Regiment, later the Wessex Volunteers, based in Brock Barracks Reading, then a member of the Royal Corps of Transport in East Kilbride Scotland, I used to get regular emails & updates on these units plus other news. Now, despite requests via a friend of mine, I have not heard a single thing for at least 3 years now, & I am wondering why. In 1954, I was involved in the building, (shovels & wheelbarrows) of the long observation platform built overlooking the Salisbury Plain, just off the road leading down to Imber village. I have tried on a number of occasions to acquire a photograph of this long mound that I assume is still in existence, but to no avail, it would be a nice keepsake of fond memories. I was also a guinea pig during the three months equipment trials conducted by C, Company to test the old 38 pattern equipment, a new American webbing & a new British webbing, plus rubber boots & the FN rifle. The trials, watched over by a high ranking American from the Green Beret & our own officers were extensive & exhausting. I was required to give blood & urine samples 3 times a day for the whole 3 months during which we were followed & filmed by a unit of Redcaps & cine film crews. The subsequent films were shown to the participants in a later time of the year, I unfortunately missed the showing as I was posted to Cherry Tree Barracks in Colchester as a Brigade driver. If these films were at all available, I would love to see them as a fond memory of my youth. I was posted to Cyprus for the last few months of my National Service, (Aghirda Camp near Kyrenia). .
Pegasus Bridge Memorial Flight at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Sidney Herbert Matthews was my Great Grandfather, he served with the Wiltshire Regiment, but then enlisted into the South Wales Borderers. Sidney Herbert Matthews born 3rd April 1885 Foxham Lock Cottages Bremhill Calne Wilts Date Died 9 May 1915 Aged 35/36 Died How Killed in Action Theatre of War France Flanders Buried Where? Bethune Town Cemetery 29k North Arras Plot 3 Row C, Grave 16 Private Number 14073 Regiment South Wales Borderers Battalion 1st Battalion Enlisted Newport, Mon Sept 1914 Occupation Coal Miner When Married Matthews, Sidney Herbert Regimental No. Rank Forename Sidney Herbert Surname Matthews Regiment 3rd Militia Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment Date 1900-10-29