THE LATEST NEWS FROM SOLDIERS OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE MUSEUM
New Year's message from the Museum Director
As I approach the anniversary of my first year in post I very much look forward to seeing what the next year will hold. We are making a real drive this year to appeal to a wider demographic of families with young children. Vicki Hopson, Events Manager, is striving to make sure all the school holidays are full of fun and educational activities.
We kick off the new year with February half term where Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum will be hosting a Living History Week. This will see history come to life at the museum as we travel through over three hundred years of the military. You can meet fierce Redcoat soldiers, World War heroes and those who serve in the army today.
- Wednesday 22nd February- Meet a Red Coat Soldier.
- Thursday 23rd February- Meet a Red Coat Soldier.
- Friday 24th February- Meet WWI Soldiers.
- Saturday 25th February- Meet WWII Soldiers.
We’ll also have children’s trails and other family activities running throughout the week. Finally, alongside this our friends at the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Association (Severn Branch) will be at the museum Thursday (23rd), Friday (24th) and Saturday (25th) to share their experiences of fighting in the modern age.
All of the above experiences are free with paid museum entry and will run from 10am until 1pm.
As well as appealing to a new demographic it is important of course that we continue to offer events for our core audience. So throughout the year Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum will be offering a series of talks taking a deeper look into a variety of fascinating subjects.
- Wed 1st March- Alexandria: Winning the Back Badge with Lt. Col Rob Dixon.
- Wed 5th April- From Soldier to Artist with Simon McCouaig.
- Wed 3rd May- The Glosters in Burma: The Story of the 1st & 10th Battalions in WWII with Lt. Col Rob Dixon.
- Wed 7th June- On Her Majesty’s Service and at Her Majesty’s Pleasure with Nick Welch.
- Wed 5th July- Brigadier Patsy Pagan: A Gloucestershire Hero with historian Len Evans.
- Wed 4th October- The Poets of Gloucestershire: In War and Peace with Lt. Col Rob Dixon.
- Wed 1st November- The Road to the Armistices: The Gloucestershire Regiment in the last weeks of the First World War with historian Michael Orr.
All Talks begin at 19:00 and cost £5 or just £2 for Museum Members.
Museum events shall continue throughout the year and especially during the school holidays. So as always keep tuned to our various accounts for build-up and information:
More events to follow in the year
Artefact of the month
Although World War One trench art is fairly common this is a particularly exceptional example. It was created by L/Cpl Neville Bray of 12th Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment between January 1916 and August 1917.
Bray began the work whilst based in the Arras sector and then finished the painstaking task once he had fought in the Second Offensive on the Somme. To differentiate between white and black pieces Bray chose to only use French and British bullets that he found lying around the trenches. For the board he reinforced a chocolate box.
British troops moving up to the trenches near Arras, 29 April 1917.Imperial War Museum image Q2105
Visit from a South Korean delegation
Recently the museum had the honour of a visit from the Korean Embassy along with the South Korean Minister of Veterans Affairs who had travelled all the way from Seoul. The delegation first travelled to Stroud High School who have an exceptional cultural exchange programme with a school in Paju, South Korea. Paju is the city that sits closest to the site of the Battle of Imjin River.
The party then travelled to the museum where they were greeted by Chris Ryland (Chairman of Museum Trustees) and Tony Ayres (Rifles County Colonel and Deputy Chair of Museum Trustees). The South Korean Minister was delighted to meet two veterans of the battle, Tommy Clough and Brian Hamblett. He invited them to attend the 70th anniversary of the armistice on the Korean Peninsula. Tommy merely replied “who’s paying?”! The Minister then hugely ran over schedule as he was so fascinated with the museums Korean War Gallery in which he was engrossed.
It was extremely insightful speaking to the Embassy party and realising in what high regard the heroes of Imjin River were considered back in South Korea. Colonel Carne (CO of the Glosters in Korea) has reached the heights of a near mythical figure and is considered a national hero. As a final parting the South Koreans gifted the museum a piece of barbed wire from the demilitarized zone that sits between the North and South Koreans.
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