Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire

Busy Time of Year at the Museum

The museum is currently closed to the public until 4th February 2014, but we are currently very busy re-constructing some areas of the museum displays. Included will be a new exhibition related to the First World War, to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the start of the war.  This will be called ‘1914 – The Country Goes to War’ and will cover a soldiers life from a civilian through to conscripts and serving on to the front line. It will include some of the many artefacts that we have in our reserve collection that are not on display and related to 1914. Also photographs from that year and documents, including the original telegraphs sent to the various battalions telling them to ‘MOBILZE’.

The First World War permanent displays are also getting a makeover. We are including an exhibition about the machine gun using a Lewis, Vickers and Maxim gun that have also been in the reserve collection. We will also have a new display case called ‘A Close Shave’ and will be made up of objects that have been involved with saving a soldiers life, such as a cigarette tin with a bullet hole through it.

Also included in our new plans, will be an updated exhibition about the Rifles Regiment involvement in Afghanistan a new display case exhibiting artefacts related to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment involvement in Northern Ireland and a new Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment display case.

The Some facts about the museum and the First World War - We have 11,439 objects in our collection that relate to WW1! The Royal Berkshires raised 13 Battalions, The Wiltshires 11. They served in France, Flanders, Italy, Salonica, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Palestine. The Berkshires earned 55 Battle Honours, The Wiltshires 60. Two  Officers and a LCpl.  serving with the Royal Berkshire's and an Officer serving with the Wiltshire's won VC's. The Royal Berkshire's lost 6,688 men and the Wiltshire Regiment nearly 5,000.

The photograph on the left is of the 1st Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment 'going over the top' at Thiepval in 1916.