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.
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.
|Steel Helmet, 147 Regiment 1939-46 bearing a Regimental transfer badge in Royal Artillery colours|
|Essex Yeomanry Poster|
|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|
|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|