|A Titan AVLB Outside the Royal Engineers Museum|
The visitor is taken through the development and evolution of the Corps from its very earliest days prior to its formation as permanent part of the army through the Peninsular Campaign and the Battle of Waterloo. The Museum holds the Map drawn up on the instructions of the Duke of Wellington weeks ahead of the Battle fought there. The Duke had already decided this was a good place to fight and the map includes marking made by Wellington himself as well as the bloodstains of his Quartermaster General, Sir William de Lancey who was fatally wounded in the battle.
|The Waterloo Map|
There are also some very interesting artefact's from the Crimean war on display. Several very rare weapons and guns are available to view but for me it was the less well known and frankly macabre objects that made this section so interesting. One that is sure to elicit a groan from all that see it is a board containing an anti-cavalry device called 'Crows Feet'. This no doubt owes its origin to the much more ancient Caltrop but in this case takes it to new heights of viciousness. This particular example was recovered from the battlefield of Balaclava.
|Bust of Lieutenant John Chard|
A large portion of the museum displays are understandably focused on the two World Wars. The Royal Engineers played a vital and growing role during these conflicts which would shape the future of Europe and the World and are still influencing events today. Several items stood out for me. The are several examples of WWI recruitment posters that seem our modern eyes as almost naive in their simple messages. But they were designed to stir the blood of young men and either encourage or shame them into signing up for the adventure of a lifetime.
|WWI Recruitment Posters|
Later in the exhibit you see what these young men were signing up for with an interesting display of early Gas Masks (both British and German).
|Early British Gas Mask|
|Photo of the Mask in use somewhere in France or Belgium|
|Gainsborough Tractor Mk 1 (1960)|
|My Fathers Day card from the kids...a Model Churchill Tank next to the Real thing!|
|Churchill AVLB and two No3 Tank Bridges|
All in all this was an excellent day out and a very interesting museum well worth a second visit at another date. Indeed the Royal Engineers Museum has more large exhibits within the Historic Dockyard at Chatham which I hope to visit later in the year.
As usual I shot many more pictures than those shown here. The rest of my pictures are on my Picasa Web Albums page which can be viewed by following this link.