Gallery News – A Fresh Interpretation for 2019

WW2 objects, Boots, Historic object handling

We’ve been busy making and planning changes to some of our displays in the museum to improve how they are interpreted and bring some different objects out from our collection store for audiences to see and enjoy.

These changes have focused on the part of our collection which covers the Second World War and we have aimed to tell some new stories from the perspective of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and those associated with the regiment. 

World War 2 Collection

The Second World War was the last major conflict in which the DCLI was involved under that name, as a little over a decade after the end of the war the regiment was amalgamated with another, first becoming the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, and then with more light infantry regiments, The Light Infantry.

WW2 Communication Display

In the museum we have put together a new display for the period up to amalgamation, focusing on different forms of communication typical of the Second World War.  It includes objects representing visual, wired and wireless communication methods with information provided about how they were used, and how they relate to one another.

WW2 Codes and communication, Bodmin Keep, DCLI

Prisoner of War Crafts

We have also begun to bring some interesting objects out of the collection store which tell some fascinating stories.  One particular object belonged to one Colour Serjeant Edward Ridge and is a basket handmade by him during his time as a Prisoner of War (POW) in Italy during the Second World War.

C. Sjt. Ridge was captured in North Africa in 1943 and transported to an Italian POW camp.  Before the war, Ridge had spent much time in India with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry but at the outbreak he, along with the rest of the 2nd Battalion, were sent from India to the Middle East.

Ridge constructed the basket by hand using the materials available to him, primarily some card, a piece of Khaki cloth, and an incredible array of folded cigarette cartons.  These are arranged into a decorative pattern, giving it a vibrant colourful appearance.

During his internment news of his capture was broadcast by the Vatican Radio to help inform his family that he was alive and well in Italy.  News of the broadcast was passed on to his family, which was possibly the first news of his condition that they received following his capture.

Prisoner of War Basket, Handmade crafts, Soldier craft, WW2, Bodmin Keep

These are just some of the changes we have made so far to our museum displays – watch this space for more soon!