20th Aug 2010
The Museum took part at the "Tommies and Trenches" event at Old Sarum during the weekend of Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August. Our image shows our exhibition stand and Miss Johnson giving advice on Regimental and family history to a keen visitor.
29th Jun 2010
We were there to lend our support to the event and to promote the museum and what services we have to offer and hopefully encourage people to visit the museum. We were able to offer family history advice to relatives who may have been in either of our regiments, and we took along some display boards with images and text information.
Our image is a combination of images from around the event.
21st Jun 2010
The Museum took part in the Close Open Day on Saturday. Besides free admission to the Museum and garden, we offered visitors advice on tracing military ancestors, weapons displays, opportunities to try on uniforms and activities for children. We also had Steve Williams who is a World War One Australian re-enactor providing our visitors with a fascinating insight into life in the trenches.
10th May 2010
The shelter was donated by the 'Britain at War' magazine and has been carefully put together by staff and volunteers.
Part of the garden where it is located has also been set aside for a vegetable garden which has been landscaped to reflect one used during the Second World War, to give visitors as real sense of what life was like in a garden at that time.
Our picture shows Alistair, the Museum Assistant digging for victory?... or Australia?
6th May 2010
Our picture shows (from left to right) Bobbie (the dog), Bobbie (the Mayor) Michael, (the Curator), and Jackie (the Assistant Curator).
The Mayor read from a speech which was made for her by the Rifles Museum which highlighted the reasons why we put the exhibition together. The speech reads as follows.
'This new exhibition, which is entitled simply 'Afghanistan', has been produced as a tribute to the soldiers of the Rifles Regiment and their antecedent regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire who have fought in battles past and present in Afghanistan.
The British public are aware that British forces are currently operating in Afghanistan, but very few know that we have been there before! In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the British forces that participated in fighting in Afghanistan were largely overlooked because of operations in other parts of the world that were more readily understood such as South Africa - against the Zulus and the Boers - and Egypt and the Sudan - against the Mahdi and Haddendoa whom the Victorian soldiers referred to as "Fuzzy Wuzzies"!
One hundred and thirty years ago our armies fought an army of tribesmen in Afghanistan. In 1880, on the arid plain of Maiwand, just North of Khandahar, a British/Indian force of 1,500, including 530 officers and men of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, fought against an Afghan force of around 30,000 and who outnumbered our artillery 6 to 1. After several hours of fighting the order to withdraw was given; up until that point the 66th had hardly lost any men, though the Indian army had suffered badly. In the withdrawal our forces had to cross a deep ravine and they took heavy casualties. Eventually 120 survivors withdrew through to the village of Khig. A group of Officers and nine other ranks who stayed in a walled garden gave covering fire to their comrades to effect a safe withdrawal and in doing so paid the ultimate price.
In 2005, the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, one of the antecedent units of The Rifles, was one of the first Regiments to be deployed in Afghanistan during 'Operation Herrick'. Although two soldiers were lost, these were to be only the first of many more to come.
Between December 2008 and the 4th April 2010, the Rifles have lost forty four soldiers and many more have been left horribly maimed. They are fighting (as did their forebears) in harsh terrain across deserts and mountains, and although the scale of the losses may be small in comparison to those at the Battle of Maiwand, the fighting today is no less horrific. Instead of rifles, guns, swords and knives it is now rockets, rifles and I.E.D.'s or the Improvised Explosive Devices, which beside killing their victims, can cause horrific injuries. As we all see on our television screens, the Taliban have proved to be a formidable army of fighters, just the same as the Afghan tribesmen of 1880!
On behalf of the Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum, I (the mayor), hope that this new display of past and modern artefacts, photographs, text boards, moving images and a Rifles Roll of Honour which is being kept updated, will enable people to understand what life was and is like for our soldiers serving in Afghanistan.'
23rd Mar 2010
Since its formation in 2007, the Rifles have lost forty-five soldiers killed in action while serving in Afghanistan and eight soldiers in Iraq.
Between the 1st March 2010 and the 8th March, six soldiers were killed in Afghanistan meaning that the museum's regimental flag was flown at half mast every day for a week. We have noticed passers shaking their heads as they travel through the Cathedral Close and past our museum, which also houses the Rifles County Office.
14th Dec 2009
Our picture shows volunteer and ex- Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment Major Mike Smith who cooked and made not just the fantastic buffet food, but also a special Christmas cake. In the background of the picture is Manager/Curator and also ex-Duke of Edinburgh Regiment, Colonel Michael Cornwell who is about to cut the cake.
10th Dec 2009
Four hundred and fifty soldiers were on parade, plus members of the British Legion and the Wiltshire and Royal Berkshire Regiments (Old Comrades). Captain Harry Parker, who was severely wounded in Afghanistan this year presented a painting to the City.
Mayors from Wilton, Amesbury, Warminster and Wootton Bassett attended the proceedings and shops in the city took down their Christmas trees for the day and replaced them with flags.
Our photograph shows members of the battalion on parade in the Market Square prior to an inspection by the Mayor of Salisbury, Bobbie Chettleborough.
2nd Dec 2009
30th Nov 2009
Our photograph was taken on the day with the family proudly holding the medal.