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THE WARDROBE
REGIMENTAL MUSEUM 

Of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment

(Formerly The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire)

SALISBURY
LATEST NEWS FROM THE MUSEUM

(All below copied from the Wardrobe site)

 

 

Another Publications - out now

In addition to the three titles published in February, we now have available a facsimile reprint of the late Colonel John Hill's 'China Dragons', his acclaimed and respected story of the war of B Company, 2nd Royal Berkshires in Burma during 1944/45. See the Regimental Books section in the shop.

Please note that the 5th Wiltshire's WW1 war diary transcript is now sold out.

 

 

D-Day to VE Day exhibition

Our D-Day to VE Day exhibition is now up and running.

We have very little spare room, but we have made space available in our entrance gallery for this exhibition, which will run for the whole year.

Rather than concentrate on D-Day itself, we have extended the concept to cover the period up to VE Day. This involved the 5th, 10th and 30th Royal Berkshires and the 2nd, 4th and 5th Wiltshire's.

If this exhibition is judged a success, for 2005 we will tackle the period up to VJ Day, which involved 1st and 2nd Royal Berkshires and 1st Wiltshire's.

 

 

New Publications - now out

Three new publications have entered our shop.

Firstly, the Royal Berkshires Great War Project team, who produced the four popular Kitchener Battalion books, have now published their latest book, on the 1st Royal Berkshires.

Secondly, we have published another two battalion war diary transcripts for the Great War; 2nd Wiltshire's and the 7th Royal Berkshires.

Please note that we have only FIVE copies of the 5th Wiltshire's WW1 war diary transcript left. We have many other books to publish, so this edition will not be reprinted for some time (years, not months).

 
 

On-line Collection - New Format

The museum uses MODES to record its collection database. We moved to MODES after it became painfully obvious how inadequate MS Access is in dealing with large numbers of images.

We are participating with Wiltshire Museum's Service in the SAGE project as a possible way forward to display our collection on-line.

SAGE is not complete, but you can see it at :
www.sage-sw.net

To start you off, select our museum from the list and use the Advanced Search, making both search on Description.

Try 'German' and 'badge' if you want a challenge. There should be only two results, but one has over 39 images of badges we are trying to identify.

There are over 6,000 of our objects there at present. Another 4,000 should be added soon. These include photographs where the names of the subjects are recorded and can be searched.

Please note that the system will search for exactly what you type. If you search for 'cap' you will get all the records with the words 'captain' and 'captured'.

Do try the facility and let us know what you think.

 

 

National Archives - WW1 Medal Cards On-line

For those of you interested in WW1 you will know that the medal cards, originally completed by the Army Medals Office, are now freely available to view at Kew, on fiche.

Visit : http://www.documentsonline.pro.gov.uk/

and you will see that the NA have released the first part of the fiche on-line.

This is tremendous for both those looking for individuals by name and also for people such as us in regimental museums, who want to see who was in a particular unit.

Yes, you have to pay to see the actual page image, but viewing the index is free. What is more, when you go to the NA you can view the pages for free.

My understanding is that the project should be complete by November.

 

 

Berkshire and The War - And now Part 3 is available

Part 3 of this 5 part set is now available. Parts 4 and 5 should be out in February.

The project, in conjunction with ArchiveBritain.com, to produce a CD containing "Berkshire and the War", a 39-part pictorial history of the First World War originally published by the Reading Chronicle, is nearing completion.

The collection of five CDs will have a full index by name, unit, place and advertiser. You will also be able to view the pages in the order they appear in the original publications. The image quality is sufficiently good to be able to print a page full size.

The Archive Britain web site has the complete index on-line, so you can 'try before you buy'.

 

 

Berkshire and The War - Parts 1 and 2 available now

Parts 1 and 2 of the five series set of CD-ROMs are now available from www.archivebritain.com

Part 3 should be available by early January. Parts 4 and 5 should be out in February.

Our project, in conjunction with ArchiveBritain.com, to produce a CD containing "Berkshire and the War", a 39-part pictorial history of the First World War originally published by the Reading Chronicle, is nearing completion.

The collection of five CDs will have a full index by name, unit, place and advertiser. You will also be able to view the pages in the order they appear in the original publications. The image quality is sufficiently good to be able to print a page full size.

The Archive Britain web site has the complete index on-line, so you can 'try before you buy'.

 

Berkshire and The War - on CD-ROM

Our project, in conjunction with ArchiveBritain.com, to produce a CD containing "Berkshire and the War", a 39-part pictorial history of the First World War originally published by the Reading Chronicle, together with a comprehensive index, has taken a little longer than planned. This delay is due to wanting to make the indexes as comprehensive and accurate as possible.

The collection of five CDs will have a full index by name, unit, place and advertiser. You will also be able to view the pages in the order they appear in the original publications. The image quality is sufficiently good to be able to print a page full size.

Publication date(s) will be announced as soon as known.

 

 (Lifted from the Museum site)

In case you think you are one of very few people visiting this site, fear not. You are not alone.

During September (2003) over 5,000 visits were made to the site and those visitors accessed over 40,000 pages. Nowhere near the numbers national museums might get, but not bad for an English county infantry regiment museum.

Thank you for visiting.

We would like to know how people use the information we provide. An article in the Western Front Association magazine suggested that the war diaries were used for school projects. Another suggestion was that guides on battlefield tours extract data for their customers. These are great reasons for using the site and there are bound to be more.

Please help us to help you by providing the sort of facilities that are of use. Drop us an email to tell us what you get from the site. Our email address is curator@thewardrobe.org.uk

We look forward to your feedback.

 

Museum stand at the Regimental Weekend 6th/7th September 2003
Click here to enlarge
The Museum Display board outside the cookhouse
Click to enlarge

Two young RGBW Soldiers view the display board, an old soldier from the Wiltshire Regiment nearby.

Click to enlarge

A group of RGBW Soldiers view the Museum Display board

Click to Enlarge

The Curator Lt Col David CHILTON (Facing with terrible dickey bow tie) attempts to make a sale 

 
 

15th August 2003

The latest report from the curator outlining the changes made to the Regimental Museum Website. If you haven't visited the site it is well worth a visit. At present there are about 350 DERR Photographic images on the site with more to follow.

CD of The Final Parade

(Click to Enlarge)

Latest item produced by the Regimental Museum. A CD recording of the final Parade of the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment in Brock Barracks in 1959. It covers the parade from start to finish. Well worth the buy

If you want to purchase a copy go to the Museum Shop on line on www.thewardrobe.org.uk 

 

Earth date Wednesday 13th August 2003. The updated site is now live. The site style has been retained and emphasis has been on more facilities. These include:

The ability to vary the text size, if you are using Internet Explorer. If you haven't experienced this, go to View; Text Size and choose a larger size. The impact could be beneficial to your eyesight.

Regimental timelines from formation of the four regiments of foot (49, 62, 66 and 99) to 1914. If you want to know what a regiment was doing during your ancestor's service, this feature will provide more down to earth information than in the formal, published regimental histories.

Searchable index of almost 5,000 Wiltshire Militia attestation papers. These papers are at the National Archives, but have been indexed by our museum's volunteers. Almost 2,000 were born outside Wiltshire. It is worth a look.

A page on the museum's Society of Friends. If you are a distant supporter of the museum or have gained benefit from the web site, you could join the Society of Friends of the museum. The page explains the objectives of the society, provides a downloadable membership form, and you can even pay your membership through the secure payment facility of the on-line shop.

A researchers page, where projects can be publicised and help sought. This is moderated and we will see how things develop. Hopefully it will provide a useful facility. It is not there, however, for one-off enquiries.

An on-line shop with the ability to pay by cheque, or by credit card over a secure link.

Please let us know what you think of the new facilities by sending us an email through the Guestbook page. Because the Guestbook is moderated, your email will come to the museum and will not be put on-line.


7th June 2003

LATEST REPORT FROM THE REGIMENTAL MUSEUM CURATOR. FROM THE MUSEUM WEBSITE
Have you noticed the changes?
Since early June Datasouth have made some changes to the site and more are to come.
'On this day' feature - This feature has been removed from all bar the home page. Hopefully, this makes the other pages less cluttered to view.

War Diaries WW1 - All fifteen WW1 war diaries have been added to the site. Don't forget to use the text search facility to see if your regiment is mentioned. We have also added the references to the original diaries at the National Archives at Kew, should you want to see them there. There are two sample page images so that you can see what a diary page looks like.

The visitor information page has been updated with current information.

What is still to come.......

Datasouth are still working on the Timeline and Militia features. They should be up and running in early July.

We will also have an on-line shop, able to take secure payments, including donations.

 

 

The Guestbook - What do you think about the site?
With few exceptions we have been pleased with your reaction and response to the guestbook facility. Messages are not edited or vetted before they appear. What you write is what others see. The few exceptions have been deleted.

A Curator Comment is only added when it is felt appropriate.

With over 4,000 visits to the site every month the vast majority of you are very happy with what you find. Or are you?

Both the museum staff and Datasouth, the site developers, would like to know what you think about the site, good and not so good.

Do keep using the guest book for other messages, but please use the facility to let us have your views.

The Society of Friends is now up and running under Lt Col STONE, further news to follow

Thank you

31st January 2003

Collection update

Extract from the Wardrobe Website

Over 3,500 objects have been added to our on-line collection, taking the total to over 5,600.

Many of the new objects are photographs, with over 700 of them being later than 1950. Please browse and make use of the feedback facility if you have information about the photographs beyond what we have put in the captions.

Image screen size is probably not as large as you or we would like, but we have to strike a balance between size, speed of loading and total storage (around 100Mb at present).


Do make use of the free text search. You might be surprised at what turns up!

There are nearly 400 DERR Photos on the Museum website to date with many more to follow, if you have any interesting photographs from your time in the Battalion please let us know.

 

The Curator Lt Col CHILTON and a member of staff from the museum Jackie visited the 1st Bn RGBW at Hounslow prior to the Battalions deployment to Northern Ireland in order to gather suitable information for some of the displays within the museum. They were guided by Major Nigel WALKER and spent a very useful and productive day with the Battalion. Whilst there they were assisted by Pte Chris KELLY who 'Volunteered' to help 

Maj WALKER and Lt Col CHILTON

Jackie and Maj WALKER with Pte KELLY

A sight to bring tears to countless 'Farmersboys' Two officers, one serving (Maj WALKER) and one retired (Lt Col CHILTON) attempt to discuss the workings of a simple camera "I say old boy, whats that sticky out thingy"

Pte Chris KELLY of 1st Bn RGBW with a Major of the same Battalion on his knees before him. Maj WALKER assisting the assistant curator JACKIE to get the correct images for the museum display

10th December 2002

The Regimental Museum at Salisbury has started re-printing out of print Regimental historical books, plus the 1st World War, War Diaries. Details below have been extracted from the Regimental Museum Website. 

 

In Print
Our printing programme has started. Three books have been printed and are available for sale. They are:

War Diary transcript 5th Wiltshires 1915-1919, A5, 119 pp, softback, cost 10 plus 1 p&p for UK.

Soldiering 50 Years Ago - by Major de Winton. Originally published by the author in 1898. His account as an officer of the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment in New South Wales during the 1840s. Reprint, not facsimile. A5, 154pp, softback, cost 10 plus 1 p&p for UK.

From Calcutta to Pekin - Captain J H Dunne's journal of the British expedition to Pekin in 1860, and published by him in 1862. Reprint, not a facsimile. A5, 76pp, softback, cost 8 plus 1 p&p for UK.

No facility to accept credit or other cards. Cheques drawn on UK bank payable to 'Wardrobe Museum Trust'.

More books to follow in the new year.

 

Extract from Museum Website

Paddling away under the surface
Nothing has changed on the site for several months, except for Guest Book entries, which we welcome.

Behind the scenes much has been happening.

The Collection - Our 'image' volunteer, Richard, has now processed over 3,000 more images for inclusion in the Collection. That's 3,000 images scanned, named, resized and described in clear English. The Curator now has the simple task of running around 19 queries in MS Access and uploading around 100Mb of data to our ISP's site.

War Diaries - Only one diary, 1/4th Royal Berks is not fully transcribed. The others missing from our site are being, or have been, proof read. Processing the resultant data will be the next task after the images.

Window on Wiltshire's Heritage - This is a NOF funded project of Wiltshire County Council Heritage section. We are a partner and will be contributing new content to our site. This will be in the form of:
1. Timelines of the four regiments (49, 62, 66 & 99) from their raising until 1914. This will be in a searchable database.
2. Wiltshire Militia Attestation summary. Name, date of enlistment, age on enlistment and birthplace for almost 5,000 men whose joined the militia between 1881 and 1908, whose attestation papers are at the Public Records.

Under the surface we are paddling like crazy. Bear with us.

For a fuller update, go to the links page and view the Museum Website.
                                                                                WANTED BY THE MUSEUM

Photographs of the DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S ROYAL REGIMENT. It might seem like an uninteresting photograph to you, but in historical terms they are worth their weight in gold, particularly if those shown are named.

Regt Museum Leaflet

How to get there

Opening times (Last admission 4.30p.m.)

April - October (Every day 10.00am to 5pm)

November, February and March (Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 to 5 pm)

Admission (Museum and Garden)

Family 5.00

Adult 2.50

Children .50p

Concessions 1.90 (Over 60s, students, Servicemen, job seekers)

Garden only .50p

 

THE MUSEUM

The Wardrobe, Salisbury Wiltshire

Dating from 1254, the Wardrobe is one of the original houses in Salisbury's Cathedral Close. It was first used by the then Bishop as his store, Hence its name. The building was greatly extended in the 17th Century. Carefully and sympathetically restored around 1980 the Wardrobe now houses the collections and archives of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, The Wiltshire Regiment and the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment. The collections are displayed in the four ground floor rooms, illustrating a colourful and illustrious history from the 1750s to the present, which of course includes the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. When visiting Refreshments are available in the Bernieres Tea room, which can be served on the garden patio during the summer
 
THE REFURBISHMENT
Our Regimental Museum was opened on the 29th July 1982 by the Duke of Edinburgh. Since that time it has remained as it was on the first day of opening. The current Curator Lt Col (Rtd) David CHILTON has nearly completed a major overhaul, redesigning the displays and re-vamping the Medal room. The general thrust now are 'Themes' through the ages which will only become clear when you visit. The initial responses from the public and visitors are very positive. In addition to the refurbishment the museum has now got an excellent website (See links page) which has already had a considerable hit rate. The Web page is unique in as much as we believe it is the only Regimental Museum in the Country to have accessible all the 1st World War diaries, plus 1500 images of artifacts and photographs contained within the museum. This is being enlarged all the time. The museum has an excellent shop which also has been redesigned. In addition to the museum and contents the museum garden is also well worth a visit, followed by tea in the Berieres room. 

The images that follow are random selections of some of the display cases which  illustrate clearly some of the work that has recently been carried out by the curator and his staff of volunteers, whom without it would not have been possible. A particularly welcome addition are the explanation boards, linked to each display cabinet, many show contempary photographs and in effect bring the display to life. 

 

This is only a snap shot of a lot of hard work and effort. There are many more displays on show. The curator is always on the lookout for exhibits, in particular anything from the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment. If you have got anything of interest please consider donating it to the museum
 
 
                             
 
                        
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                            Revised: 19 July 2006.