Wednesday 28 May 2014

Essex Regimental Museum

Monday was a Public Holiday here in the UK and we (the family and I) made good use of the time to visit Chelmsford Museum. We have been making a point of visiting smaller 'local' museums in the Essex area and have found that many are really very good and often include little bits of  interesting militaria. The Chelmsford Museum includes the Essex Regimental Museum and so while the rest of the family were looking at local history exhibits and cases full of stuffed animals (!?), I nipped off to indulge in some military history. 

The Museum actually has two rooms set aside for regimental exhibits, the smaller one had a special exhibit on the Essex Yeomanry and the larger display area was dedicated to the Essex Regiment.

Steel Helmet, 147 Regiment 1939-46 bearing a Regimental transfer badge in Royal Artillery colours
Essex Yeomanry Poster
The Essex Regiment exhibition tells the story of the county Regiment from its origins in 1741 through its major deployments and conflicts in the British Empire, both World Wars and the Korean War. There are some really excellent exhibits on display from personal items such as Medals (including several VC's) through to the famous Salamanca Eagle, a Napoleonic standard captured from the French in 1812. 

Private Soldier, Longs Regiment 1741 armed with a Brown Bess musket
Private, C Company 1st Bn Royal Anglian Regt - Kitted for Afghanistan 2007 wearing Desert Combat Dress
The museum boasts an impressive medal collection, including several VC's
Posthumous VC of Francis Parsons
A 'Crown and Anchor' game board and dice. This illegal gambling game is painted on canvas board so it could be easily and quickly concealed. The game is played between a player and a banker. The player places bets on one or more symbols. He then throws the three dice. If there is a bet on any symbol which comes up on one or more of the dice, the banker pays the player the amount of his stake for each die showing that symbol: even money if one, 2:1 if two, and 3:1 if three. If the symbol doesn't come up, the player loses his bet. The odds are naturally stacked in favour of the banker!
1914 Star, British War Medal & Allied Victory Medal 1914-20
The false arm worn by Russel Walter Byford who was wounded in Oct 1916. Russell later went on to play football for Colchester Town FC
Private, 1/4th Bn Essex Regt, at El Alamein 1942 with the SMLE Rifle
Africa Star 1943-45
A stone from Gold Beach - Pte Cliff Stone put this in his pocket after slipping leaving the landing craft
A 'Machine Gun Simulator (1942) made from a corned beef tin and a handle turning a clapper - Actually used on exercise by the Home Guard on the Hertfordshire border
The Salamanca Eagle - Captured from the French by Lieutenant William Pearce on 22 July 1812
Although this is a relatively small Regimental Museum it has some really interesting and exciting exhibits on display making this a very interesting place to visit if your are interested in Military History. 


  1. The mannequin of the soldier in Longs regiment is very good, but "1941"? Think not.. :o)

    1. Doh! Ofr course it should read "1741" and I've now corrected it. Thanks for spotting that.

  2. I live in Chelmsford and had no idea this was here! Thanks for posting.

    1. I didn't know about it until I stumbled upon it while looking online for something to do at the weekend. There is more to the museum as well as the Regimental stuff with an especially good display of items related to the Marconi works that used to be in the town.

  3. Excellent pictures and some very interesting fact. Especially the picture of the Eagle... ;-)


    1. I was surprised when I saw the Eagle, and it's is understandably well displayed....probably one of the Regiments most prized and most famous war trophies.

  4. Thanks for the photos of the museum. Very nice. You are lucky that you have them throughout the country.

  5. Always entertaining. I love the Napoleonic eagle.

  6. What a great looking museum, I love the machine gun simulator and they don't make them like Russel Walter Byford any more!

  7. What a brilliant museum. You're a lucky lad to have stuff like this nearby mate. Thanks for sharing!


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