Staffordshire Regiment Museum

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The Staffordshire Regiment Museum is a military museum in Staffordshire, England, dedicated to preserving the history of The Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's), its antecedent regiments and its successor regiment, The Mercian Regiment, from 1705 to the present day.[1][2] The Staffordshire Regiment was an Infantry regiment of the British Army. The regiment was formed in 1959 by the amalgamation of The South Staffordshire Regiment and The North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's).[3]

History[edit]

The museum was established on its present buildings in 1969, incorporating the formerly separate museums of The North Staffordshire Regiment and The South Staffordshire Regiment, both of which were founded in the 1930s.[4]

Exhibits[edit]

There are exhibits from the 38th Regiment of Foot, 64th Regiment of Foot, 80th Regiment of Foot and the 98th Regiment of Foot, their successors — the North Staffordshire Regiment and the South Staffordshire Regiment — The Staffordshire Regiment and the regiment of today (The Mercian Regiment); and also from the militia, volunteers and Territorial Army.[5][6]

The main exhibition is in chronological sequence with a wide selection of uniforms, weapons and associated items from campaigns in India, Burma, the Crimea, Persia, South Africa, Egypt and the Sudan, as well as from World War I and World War II. More recent material covers the Regiment's involvement in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kosovo, the Gulf Wars (Operation GRANBY and Op TELIC) and Afghanistan (Op HERRICK).[7] The oldest item is a Grenadier Company Officer's cap of the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot dating from around 1760. The medals display includes those of eight of the thirteen members of the Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross[8] and medals from all campaigns in which the Regiment has taken part. The collection includes around 11,000 items.[4]

The Coltman Trench[edit]

The Coltman Trench, a World War I replica trench at the museum

A major exhibit is an outdoor replica of a World War I British Army defensive trench system named after Lance Corporal William Harold Coltman who was awarded a Victoria Cross whilst serving with the North Staffordshire Regiment as a stretcher-bearer. The trench is 100m long and 2m wide,[9] it includes dug-outs and other features which are named after the other six Victoria Cross holders from the Regiment in World War I.[3] In 2013, the trench received a major revamp, being extended, repaired and improved. An underground classroom in a dugout and first aid post were introduced. A sophisticated visitor triggered sound system was introduced to enhance the experience for the visitor. Battle re-enactments are held throughout the year, including in November when members of the public can witness a battle re-enactment known as 'A Night in the Trenches'. A German trench and pillbox were added to the exhibit in 2014 and in 2016 a 'Great War Trail' was added, which tells the story of the war from the perspective of the Staffords' regiments.

Other outdoor displays[edit]

The Museum's other outdoor exhibits include World War II air-raid shelters, a concrete pill box and machine gun emplacement, weapons (Combat Anti-Tank Gun) and Armoured Fighting Vehicles used or captured by the Regiment (FV432 Mk1, FV103 Spartan, Iraqi MTLB, Universal Carrier (Bren Gun) T16 and Ferret armoured car).[10]

The Museum grounds have a remembrance garden containing the original memorial to the Staffordshire Regiment from the National Memorial Arboretum. After the memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum was replaced by a new memorial,[11] built by Staffordshire Regiment veterans, the existing memorial was relocated to the Museum as part of the same project. The garden was officially opened by His Royal Highness Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester, on Thursday 7 April 2016.[12]

Other activities[edit]

Events programme

The Museum has an active on-site events programme, which includes historical re-enactment displays. Regular events are World War I Night in the Trenches[13] and Carols in the Trenches.[3][14]

Educational and outreach programme

The Museum operates an active Educational Programme which provides for curriculum-based visits to serve multi-subject Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 of the National Curriculum (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) using World War I, World War II, and Victorian era resources. An Outreach Programme exists which delivers lectures on the Regiment's history at off-site locations.[15]

Historical research

The archives (which are available for reference and detailed research) include a wide range of books and documents relating to the Regiment and a variety of source material. There is an extensive photographic collection.[3][16]

Museum volunteers and friends[edit]

The majority of the museum curatorial and educational programme staff are provided by volunteers. The museum is also supported by a dedicated branch of the Friends of The Staffordshire Regiment.[3]

Location[edit]

The museum is located in Whittington, Staffordshire on the A51 Lichfield-Tamworth Road, 3 miles from Lichfield and 4 miles from Tamworth. It is adjacent to Whittington Barracks,[17] the former home of The Staffordshire Regiment's antecedent regiments since 1881, and the current base for the Regimental Headquarters of The Mercian Regiment [18] and the Defence Medical Services.[19]

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum is situated 6 miles from the National Memorial Arboretum which is located in Alrewas, Staffordshire.[20]

Charitable status[edit]

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum is owned and managed by The Staffordshire Regiment Museum Trust which is a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity No: 1096944).[21]

Awards[edit]

In 2013, the museum was awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service for its educational work with school and youth groups. [22]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staffordshire Museums' Activities and Resources for Teachers. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  2. ^ The Mercian Regiment. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e The Staffordshire Regiment Museum. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b The Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's) Information Handbook, 1989.
  5. ^ www.ukattraction.com. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  6. ^ Army Museums Ogilby Trust, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  7. ^ www.bbc.co.uk, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  8. ^ www.ww2museums.com. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  9. ^ Staffordshire Regimental Museum, Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  10. ^ Staffordshire Regiment, BBC. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  11. ^ "New memorial to Staffordshire Regiment troops completed at National Memorial Arboretum". 2015-07-29. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  12. ^ "Duke opens remembrance garden to honour war heroes at The Staffordshire Regiment Museum « Express & Star". www.expressandstar.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  13. ^ 'Nacht auf der Frontlinie' 'Night on the front line' WW1 Re-enactment of life in a German Trench, Visit Lichfield, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  14. ^ Carols in the Trenches, Visit Lichfield, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  15. ^ www.information-britain.co.uk, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  16. ^ Staffordshire Regiment Museum, The National Archives, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  17. ^ www.staffspasttrack.org.uk, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  18. ^ The Mercian Regiment, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  19. ^ www.army.mod.uk, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  20. ^ National Memorial Arboretum, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  21. ^ The Charity Commission, UK. Accessed 22 October 2011.
  22. ^ http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/yourcouncil/civicoffices/queensawardforvolunteersofthestaffordshireregimentmuseum.aspx

Coordinates: 52°39′35″N 1°46′40″W / 52.6596°N 1.7778°W / 52.6596; -1.7778