Royal Green Jackets Museum
Royal Green Jackets
regimental badge & museum logo
Front of the Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum
|Location||Peninsula Barracks, Winchester|
The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum in Winchester, England was opened by Queen Elizabeth II, the regiment's former Colonel in Chief, in 1989. It is situated within Peninsula Square, formerly Peninsula Barracks, the home of The Rifle Depot. The Museum is adjacent to Winchester’s Great Hall and within easy walking distance of the City centre.
A collection of uniforms, weapons, silver, paintings and medals with inter-active and handling exhibits, is set out over two floors and records the history of The Green Jackets Brigade (1958), The Royal Green Jackets (1966)[a] and its antecedent Regiments – The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, (43rd & 52nd), The King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th) and The Rifle Brigade (95th) from 1741 to the present day.
Early years and Napoleonic Wars
On the first floor the exhibition, entitled 'With the Rifles to Waterloo', opened in 2015 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, is focused on the Napoleonic Wars. Interactive displays and weapon handling exhibits cover the creation in 1800 of the Experimental Corps of Riflemen (later the 95th or Rifle Brigade), and the story of the Light Division commanded by Sir John Moore in the Peninsula War. Set against a display of original campaign medals from the period,[b] spelling out ‘WATERLOO’ the centrepiece of the exhibition is a 25 square metre diorama of the Waterloo battlefield on which 30,000 model soldiers and horses, with an accompanying sound and light commentary, depict the fighting on 18 June 1815.
Other visitor attractions on the first floor include the Early Years Section covering the raising in 1755 of The Royal American Regiment in North America, the Siege of Quebec and the Indian Mutiny.
The Victoria Cross display 'For Valour' describes the personal histories of each of the regiments’ 59 Victoria Cross winners and the various campaigns of the latter half of the 19th century in which the various regiments fought.
The World Wars
On the ground floor tableaux and models with interactive audio, cover the two World Wars and the ‘withdrawal from Empire’ years.
Among them are the Siege of Calais in May 1940, the desert war in north Africa including the action at Outpost Snipe in which members of 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade won a VC, three Distinguished Conduct Medals, a Distinguished Service Order, a Military Cross and seven Military Medals, as well as the glider borne ‘coup de main’ assault (Operation Deadstick – often referred to as Pegasus Bridge) that secured the crossings over the Caen Canal on the night before the D Day landings operation.
The Recent History Section covers the story of the Regiment from the formation of The Royal Green Jackets in 1966 through to the year 2007; it records life in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and on garrison duty in West Berlin during the Cold War years, the Regiment's involvement in Northern Ireland in support of the Civil Power (Operation Banner) and soldiering in other parts of the world.
The final displays explain The Royal Green Jackets involvement in the First Gulf War, peace support operations in Bosnia and Kosovo in the Balkans and the occupation of Iraq from 2003 until 2007 when the regiment was amalgamated with others to form The Rifles, a large infantry regiment in the current British Army order of battle.
The Museum also has a Medal Room displaying a collection of medals with information on awards and decorations accessed through a touch screen visual display unit. A selection of paintings can be seen in the Kincaid Gallery a multi functional space with built in audio visual facilities for temporary exhibitions, lectures, meetings and corporate entertainment. The establishment of the gallery was supported by a donation from Bernard Cornwell, best known for his novels about Napoleonic Wars rifleman Richard Sharpe. The Museum has a collection of memorabilia, including Sharpe's Sword, used in the Sharpe TV series.
- Rifles and Kukris: Delhi, 1857, by Christopher Wallace, (2007).
- Focus on Courage: the 59 Victoria Crosses of the Royal Green Jackets, by Christopher Wallace, (2006)