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Sir John Moore, Founder of the Light Infantry
The museum has a room dedicated to Sir John Moore, a hugely important figure in the development of the British Army and the history of the Light Infantry. He is best-known for his important military training reforms which led to a new kind of soldier, and for his dramatic death in 1809 at the Battle of Corunna in Spain whilst fighting the French.
The museum’s display focuses on his ceremonial Order of the Bath silk mantle and includes a unique selection of his personal possessions.
Produced by women in the British Residency at the siege of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny in 1857. The red blue and white pieces were cut from the uniforms of dead soldiers and the green centrepiece (now faded) was made form the baize of the residency’s billiard table.
Harry Patch, The Last Fighting Tommy
Harry Patch was known as the ‘Last Fighting Tommy’. Living to the age of 111, he was the last remaining survivor of World War 1 in the United Kingdom. During the First World War he was a Lew gunner in the 7th Battalion in the Duke of Cornwall’s Infantry. Until his death, at the age of 111 in 2009, he frequently visited the museum. Now the museum houses houses some of his belongings that were given to him over the years. These soldiers were made from recovered shrapnel and other ordinance from the Battlefields surrounding Ypres.
Only the bravest deeds in wartime are rewarded with a Victoria Cross. One of the ‘VC heroes’ was bandsman Thomas Edward Rendle of 1st battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Risking his own life during heavy shell and rifle fire in the Great War, Rendle rescued men from the trenches in which they had been buried by enemy attacks. Seven other VC heroes received the same medial during their serves in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Their Victoria Crosses are also showcased in the museum.
The Berlin Wall
This piece of the Berlin Wall is believed to be the largest piece held in the United Kingdom. It used to be part of the 110 km wall around West Berlin. This section speaks volumes about how Germany and Berlin were divided during the Cold War; one side of the wall shows, colourful modern graffiti while the other side of the wall is empty.