Author Archives: Melanie

About Melanie

Museum Manager

The Rifles Collect

The Rifles Collect is the Regimental Prayer of The Rifles:

O Almighty God, the sure stronghold of each succeeding age, guard us your servants
of The Rifles. That we may uphold and be worthy of the great traditions bound up in
our former Regiments, and as we were chosen to be swift and bold may we seek with
courage you grace in every time of need and so be patient and persevering in running
the race this is set before us. This we ask through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord.
Amen.

A RIFLES Memorial and Roll of Honour in the museum

 

It’s almost 2018…

2017 has been a busy year for us here at The Rifles Collection and we can’t believe 2018 is almost here! Lots of changes have been happening, but a lot have been ‘behind the scenes’ changes, so we thought we’d taken this opportunity to let our visitors know all about them.

The museum now has its own Trust, previously, it was under The Rifles Regimental Trust, now it is an independent Trust – The Rifles Museum Trust, charity number 1174293, chaired by Brig. (retd.) Jolyon Jackson.

The museum ran a paid internship for 6 weeks from May to June. This was part funded by the museum but administered and the rest of the funding paid for by Santander’s Internship Scheme for University students. Our Intern was Philip Lazenby, who came from Brunel University studying his MA in Military History and completed the museum’s Collection Audit.

This year has been a changing time for our volunteers. Out of our small team of dedicated volunteers, one now has a full time job with the Museum of Military Medicine as their Assistant Curator, one has full time work in the field of archaeology, one has left to go to Queen’s University, Belfast to study History in the hope of a museum career and the other has returned to the University of Reading to complete a Masters in Museum Studies for a future museum career. This left us with a lack of volunteers, but all for good reasons, meaning we had to run a recruitment drive in September and October. We have four new volunteers who have started this month. Our volunteers have given us 454 hours so far this year in work on the collection – documenting and accessioning items and working on the archives.

 

Austen’s Officers: Then and Now

We have been working on our travelling exhibition; ‘I am a Rifleman’, which will be touring across the country in 2018 – please keep checking our website for dates and venues! We have also developed an education programme with Winchester’s Military Museums for STEAM national curriculum standard.

Additionally, we have submitted our first ever application for Museum Accreditation, a huge step and the accumulation of years of work for the museum, so fingers crossed!

Finally, we developed our temporary exhibition gallery and held our first ever temporary exhibition themed on ‘Austen’s Officers: Then and Now’, which is still running until mid-November. The photos below are from this temporary exhibition.

After such a hectic year, we can’t wait to see what 2018 brings for the museum!

Some of the items on display in Austen’s Officers: Then and Now

 

Medal Sets Appeal

The Regimental Museum of The Rifles is appealing for medal sets for its’ collection.

If you are currently serving in the Regiment and hold a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, Military Cross, George Medal or Queen’s Gallantry Medal – please get in touch! We would like to create a replica set of medals from those serving in the Regiment. You will be able to keep your medals but your story will be shown in the museum.

If you have recently left the Regiment and hold one of the above medals, please still get in touch! We recognise these medals have a monetary value if you wish to sell them to the museum. Or, equally, you could loan them to us for our travelling exhibition until 2019. Or, finally, you can let us create a replica set from yours so you get to keep them.

There are so many ways we can display these medals to always keep your best interests in mind. It seems unbelievable that, for a Regiment that holds 4 CGCs, 21 MCs, 1 GM and 5 QGMs amongst many other honours and awards, the Regimental Museum of The Rifles has none.

Please contact the museum on 01962 828505 or museum@the-rifles.co.uk

It’s National Poetry Day 2016!

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For National Poetry Day 2016, we would like to share a poem “To Reflect and Remember” by former Serjeant Paul Cocoran, which has been adapted for The Rifles today. Feel free to share your own contribution with us, using #nationalpoetryday #therifles to the @TheRiflesCol on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To Reflect and Remember

The Officers and Soldiers we all once knew                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The good times the hard times the compo stew

The training was over for a posting no doubt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Where are we going… don’t all shout out

The families officer and rear party our next of kin safe                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Keep your head down, soldier on and keep your faith

From the CO to the Rifleman we all did our bit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once more Infantrymen you were destined for it

Never mind the bullets, bombs and danger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keep on going said the Serjeant Major

We got on with our lot to see the job though                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thinking of our families as they are of you

I am counting the days till the end of the tour                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just one more patrol and I’ll be home that’s for sure

I would march 100 miles for a moment with you                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Its hard at the moment… but will get easier it’s true

The blisters last for weeks… the memories a lifetime                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     My service in The Rifles was simply sublime.

Paul ‘Coco’ Cocoran

 

Rifleman with rifle aimed into the distance

Rifleman with rifle aimed into the distance

 

 

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Getting Ready for our Touring Exhibition

We are thrilled to announce that to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Formation of The Rifles, we are planning to send a touring exhibition across the UK. Within the exhibition, we hope to feature stories and objects that reflect the ethos of The Rifles from the past 10 years. We are currently looking for contributions or suggestions from across the Regiment and those connected to the Regiment. If you have a contribution to make to this exhibition, please contact us on museum@the-rifles.co.uk before Friday 30th September.

 

If you would like to volunteer or support this project in any way, then please do get in touch at the above email address. We would be delighted to hear from you.

 

The Rifles Collection Proudly Presents…

Our new Afghanistan Gallery!

We have been working hard over the past months to design and re-display the Afghanistan exhibition in the museum. We have put new text panels up telling the story of The Rifles in Afghanistan and the numerous operations they were involved in, as well as introduce new and exciting objects for you, our visitors, to see.

One of the highlights of this new exhibition is a motorbike used by Taliban insurgents. It is the only piece of enemy kit exhibited in the museum, and one of only two motorbikes linked to the Taliban on display in the UK; the other is located in the Imperial War Museum, London.

Taliban Motorbike

The Hampshire Chronicle has featured the opening of our new exhibition this week, which can be seen here.

We hope you come down to the museum and see our new gallery soon!

 

Donate or sell? Why not do both?

The Rifles Collection, as the  Regimental Museum of The Rifles, is always keen to acquire new items relating to The Rifles. However, we understand that sometimes these items have a monetary value outside of the Regiment, such as paintings and medals. This can sometimes make the choice between donating an item to the museum or selling it on for cash, a difficult decision. However, the museum can offer far more than these two options. With more resources available to possibly purchase these times, loaning and donating are not the only options open to you.

  1. We can take the item on loan for a set number of years, giving the public the chance to view a key part of the Regiment’s history, before returning it to the owner. Your ownership of the item is not affected in any way.
  2. If the owner definitely wants to sell the item and we think it is a worthwhile item for the museum, we can offer to purchase the item through applying for grants and fundraising to its correct assessed value. This would take us usually a few months to raise the necessary funds, but the item would be well cared for and maintained for perpetuity for the public to view and learn more about.

We can also discuss customised options suitable for each object and owner, so please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Rifles Collection’s ‘Acquisition’s Fund’

For those of you that have visited the museum are aware, we rely heavily on grants and the generous donations of our supporters, and are trying to do as much as possible with our limited Ministry of Defence funding to tell the story of The Rifles, which is why we are appealing to you to support us.

We are hoping to raise the funds to purchase a medal set, to secure a piece of The Rifles Heritage, to protect it and display it in the museum for future generations to come and see.


We have set up a JustGiving page that we urge you to visit. Our ‘Acquisitions Fund’, although inspired by the sale of this medal set, is not solely about purchasing this object. As the Regimental museum of The Rifles, we want to put in place a way of being able to raise funds so that, if this was to happen again, we could save the object relating to The Rifles!

The Rifles Collection wants to take this opportunity to appeal to Riflemen and those with objects relating strongly to the Regiment to come to the museum to discuss parting with these objects. We do not want you to feel that private sellers are your only option for disposal. The museum, which adheres to best practice, would be able to safeguard and share these regimentally significant objects with future generations, and use them to tell the story of The Rifles.


Please click on the link below. We thank you for your generosity and support.

The Rifles Collection’s ‘Acquisitions Fund’

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Gallery…

This month has been an exciting start to 2016 for The Rifles Collection. We have been working hard to re-design and re-develop our gallery space to bring new objects and stories onto display. The gallery itself has expanded so that we can tell our visitors more about The Rifles and the work they carry out.

As 2016 continues, we will also continue to develop the museum. We plan to take social media by storm and to share the story of The Rifles even more; as well as continuing to host a range of activities throughout the year, including Armed Forces Day on Sunday 19th June.

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Images taken of the new gallery.

Please see our ‘Your Visit’ page for more information of all our activities.

Happy New Year from The Rifles Collection

Happy New Year from all of the staff at The Rifles Collection!

2016 looks to be another exciting year for the museum. Keep checking our website for updates on all the events we are hosting at the museum throughout the year.

We have recently updated our website, adding new and exciting features for you to enjoy.

We are taking social media by storm in 2016, so like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to check out our Pinterest page.

 

Let’s make this year a good one!