Yet another slideshow of pictures I took while on Holiday a couple of weeks ago. This time the pictures are from The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester, Dorset. I've been to Dorchester several times before but never visited this museum and am glad I got the opportunity this time around. The collection is spread across four floors and is dedicated to the Devonshire and Dorset Regiments, The Dorset Yeomanry, The Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry, The Dorset Militia, The Royal Devon Yeomanry and the 94 Field Regiment Royal Artillery.
The Keep was built as the gatehouse for the Depot Barracks of the Dorsetshire Regiment and as the County Armoury. Completed in 1879 the Depot Barracks were the administrative centre for the Dorsetshire Regiment and its centre for recruitment and training. The Depot carried out this function between 1879 and 1958. During World War Two the barracks were used by the 701st Ordnance Light Maintenance Company and the 1st Quartermaster Company of the American Armed Forces. (Source Museum Website)
The collections are diverse and interesting with displays being arranged in such a way that each cabinet tells a story of an individual, battle or campaign. Many of the items displayed are very interesting and rare. One item that stood out not only for its size but also for its historical significance was Hitlers Desk. This was taken from the Reich Chancellery by the Russians and later passed into the hands of Major General Bishop of the Dorsetshire Regiment in 1945. The provenance of the desk was confirmed when the drawers were found to still contain the Fuhrers personal writing paper and his 1943 Christmas card!
Other items on display are of a much more humble nature but are no less significant for the stories that have to tell. There are thousands of medals on the upper floor of the museum with smaller collections (includeing several VC's) throughout the collection. This is a relatively small museum but a fascinating and well presented one that is well worth a visit if you get an opportunity.