Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire

The Creative and Inventive Soldier

Our temporary exhibition this year has been produced to give visitors to this museum a chance to see an alternative view of a soldier’s life by displaying their creative works and inventions.

Artists included in this exhibition are Stanley Spencer who served with 7th Battalion, The Royal Berkshire Regiment, and Victorian military artist Richard Simkin who painted pictures of soldiers from our regiments. Inventors include; aircraft inventor Lieutenant John William Dunne, who served with the Wiltshire Regiment; William Soper who invented the Soper rifle and who served with the Royal Berkshire Rifle Volunteers and poet Captain Edgell Rickword who served with the 5th Battalion, the Royal Berkshire Regiment during the First World War.
Also on display are embroideries made by soldiers during their rehabilitation in between battles; and poems written about loved ones.

The image shows hand painted decorative ostrich eggs. These were decorated by Sergeant Frederick Cook DCM while serving with the Wiltshire Regiment during the Boer War in South Africa – one was painted for the 1st Battalion and the other for the 2nd Battalion (Wiltshire Regiment). Both of these battalions were involved in the Boer War between 1899 and 1902 and were formally known as the 62nd Regiment of Foot and the 66th Regiment, hence numbers on the eggs. The Wiltshires fought in all major engagements during this War and the previous African war – the Zulu War in 1879.

Click on the image to enlarge and you will see the wonderful detail painted on these eggs.