I was in Oxford this morning doing a book presentation and an interesting discussion about modern Turkish history. It was close to the Ashmolean Museum, which I had never visited. Apart from the archaeology and art, they had a special exhibition about the Palace of Knossos on Crete. I visited the site a few years ago, so it was interesting to get a different perspective.
|The Japanese section has a full set of Samurai armour.
In the afternoon, I drove down to Winchester. In the former Peninsular Barracks, they have three military museums, well five, really, but two were not open.
The first was the Gurkha Museum. A standard regimental museum format takes the visitor chronologically through their history of service with the British Army from 1815 to the present day. For such a small country, I was staggered to read that 120,000 Gurkhas served in WW2.
|I also didn't realise they fought on the Western Front in WW1. This is a trench attack.
|This was the first uniform in 1815.
Next door is the Horse Power Museum of the Royal Hussars. Again a chronological tour of the 10th and 11th Hussars, through the Napoleonic Wars, the charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimea, to the conversion as infantry in WW1 and then armoured troops in WW2 and beyond.
|A WW2 Dingo Scout Car.
Finally, The Rifles and Royal Green Jackets Museum. This traces the history of rifle units from the Royal Americans in the AWI to the 95th Rifles of the Napoleonic Wars. Then through colonial campaigns and the Crimea to the mechanised units of WW2 and today.
|Rifle officer in the Napoleonic Wars. I don't recall Sharpe in a Bicorn!
They also have a Waterloo diorama with 22,000 figures.
Easy to find, a car park outside and a joint ticket for £11. Highly recommended.