News Archive



12th Dec 2016

The objects are carefully inspected for any damage or change in condition and, if stable enough, are gently cleaned. This Wiltshire Militia tunic is being cleaned with a special museum vac which has a gentle suction. A nylon stocking is placed on the end of the vac hose and a net is placed on the tunic just to catch any loose threads or buttons that get sucked up by mistake. A HUGE thank you to our volunteers for their time and outstanding progress.









30th Nov 2016

We are now closed until Wednesday 1 February 2017.  Lots will be happening behind the scenes until then.  We shall keep you posted.


22nd Nov 2016

…until the Museum closes for winter. 

We will be open every day, except Sunday, until Tuesday 29th November 2016.  We will then close until Wednesday 1 February 2017.

Even though we will be closed to the public, we will still be busy behind the scenes - cleaning the display cases, assessing objects and getting a new temporary exhibition ready, which next year will be on the 1st/ 4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiments’ experiences of the Third Battle of Gaza 1917.

Hope you can make it.



15th Nov 2016

LAST CHANCE TO SEE – Battle of the Somme Exhibition at the Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum, Salisbury which ends on Tuesday 29th November 2016. 

The exhibition includes both The Royal Berkshire and The Wiltshire Regiments with artefacts, photographs and original archive documents from the collections. 

We're open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm.  See our website for Visitor Information.

Reinterment Service for Operation Market Garden Veterans

Reinterment Service for Operation Market Garden Veterans

10th Nov 2016

A burial service was held at 10:00 hours on Wednesday 5 October 2016 at CWGC Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, The Netherlands, for L/Cpl Donald Stabler Noble and Pte Harold James Lewis, 4th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment.

The remains of both soldiers were found in February 2013 by a civilian unexploded ordnance contractor.  They had been buried together in a shallow field grave.  Found with the remains were some artefacts, including a Wiltshire Regiment cap badge and a Warwickshire Regiment button.

Following research of the 4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment Roll by the Royal Netherlands Army Recovery & Identification Unit and David Chilton in England, there were 7 possible candidates, 5 of whom were ruled out by their age, height or dental records.  This left only Donald Noble and Harold Lewis. Both had been killed during the ‘Battle of the Island’ when the 43rd Wessex Division battled to get to a group of surrounded paratroopers in Arnhem.

Members of the ‘Redcoats’ the Society of Friends and Regimental Museum volunteers attended the service. The Redcoats President Brigadier Patrick Davidson-Houston CBE represented the Regiment.  Redcoat Members Ex Lieutenant Colonel David Chilton and Colonel Michael Cornwell OBE acted as the standard bearers. Redcoat members and volunteers who also attended were Nigel Walker (Redcoats Chairman), John Peters, Chris Bacon, Richard Joyner, Bob Hambling, and ‘Mac’ McIntyre.  Also part of the group was Jeff Mathews, ex Wiltshire Regiment.  Mr Matthews has attended all the events leading to the recovery of Wiltshire Soldiers in that area and is directly responsible for the erection of the 4th and 5th Battalions memorial at De Larr Farm which lists all those from both battalions who fell in this area.

May they Rest in Peace.

Reginald Frederick Johnson Hayward VC MC Wiltshire Regiment

21st Jun 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have compiled a digital archive of the 175 Victoria Cross recipients from overseas during the First World War. This follows the first stage of the project when in 2014 the United Kingdom gave memorial plaques to their 11 home countries, engraved with the recipients names, and which are now located in prominent locations.  This second stage of the project tells the remarkable stories behind the names engraved on those plaques. 


The archive is hosted on GOV.UK and was made available on Monday 20 June 2016. Thee site includes films made in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum.   The site is at

The entry for Reginald Frederick Johnson Hayward VC MC Wiltshire Regiment is at

From Our Records - February

19th Feb 2016

On 1st February 2007 (9 years) The Rifles were formed.  In 1760 - 255 years ago The 62nd Regiment defended Carrickfergus Castle in Ireland.

On 28 Feb 1985, 30 years ago, the IRA carried out a mortar bomb attack on a police station in Newry, Northern Ireland. 9 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers were killed - the RUC's highest loss of life on a single day during the Troubles.

FEBRUARY 1916 – Key Events During World War One

19th Feb 2016

2nd February

German airship "L.-19" founders in the North Sea.

8th February

British Government request naval assistance from Japan


10th February

Military Service Act comes into operation in Great Britain

German Government send Note to United States Government stating that defensively armed merchantmen will be treated as belligerents from March 1st onwards.


14th February

Entente Powers make declaration guaranteeing to Belgium eventual independence and indemnification.


16th February

War Office take over anti-aircraft defence of London from the Admiralty, and become responsible for anti-aircraft defence generally throughout the kingdom.

War Office take over from the India Office control of operations in Mesopotamia.


21st February

Battle of Verdun begins

Battles of the Western Front: Grinding Battles of Attrition in 1916 — Verdun

German airship "L.Z.-77" brought down by French gunfire at Revigny

German Government inform United States Government that defensively armed merchantmen will henceforth be regarded as cruisers.


25th February

Fort Douaumont (Verdun) stormed by German forces


28th February

The nucleus of a British air squadron formed to bomb German industrial centres


29th February

Action in North Sea between German raider "Greif" and British auxiliary cruiser "Alcantara": both sunk.

The Museum Re-Opens

The Museum Re-Opens

1st Feb 2016

Today, 1st February, the museum has re-opened after our winter break. During this time, we have been busy carrying out essential conservation work to the displays – something we can only do when we are closed to the public. This involved careful cleaning of the artefacts and the cases themselves.

We have also been working hard over the last few months on our new Temporary Exhibition for 2016 – The Battle of the Somme, which took place 100 years ago in 1916.

Both The Royal Berkshire Regiment and The Wiltshire Regiment took part from the first day of The Somme.

On display are photographs, artefacts, uniforms original archive documents, including an original Trench Orders documents given to soldiers serving at this time.

Also today, is the 9th anniversary since the formation of The Rifles.






The Heroine Project Presents: 'Over the Top - the True Life of Dorothy Lawrence

The Heroine Project Presents: 'Over the Top - the True Life of Dorothy Lawrence

1st Feb 2016

A very special performance of a new play about a forgotten Salisbury heroine.

Thursday 10th March, 7pm 

Salisbury 1917: Aspiring journalist Dorothy Lawrence returns from the front line, suffering from a nervous complaint, and harbouring secrets the War Office forbids her to tell.

What made Dorothy brave enough to follow her reckless ambition? And what price did she pay?

Based on original research, the astonishing story of a bold woman is brought to life with two actors, dark humour and an original score.  To buy a ticket go to:

For more information please visit