Museum Collections: Latest News, By Verity Anthony

Light Infantry Collection at Cornwall's Regimental Museum


By Verity Anthony, Collections Manager

We’ve had a busy few months refreshing and changing the museum displays. Lots of mannequins have been manhandled, some objects have been safely stored away, whilst others have come out of storage and are now displayed.
One of the ambitions of the museum has been to create a temporary exhibition space, where we can show changing exhibitions of our own creation, and those brought in from other organisations. In order to do this we have rearranged and refreshed some of the Light Infantry display areas in the museum and in the autumn, we will be doing further work to extend the Light infantry displays with a new ‘Introduction to the Regiment’ gallery.

Though we have, for the present, reduced the current space dedicated to the LI from four galleries to three, we were adamant that we would still tell the stories of the campaigns and peacekeeping missions that the regiment were involved in. To do this we have reduced some of the contextual displays around the Berlin Wall, whilst still retaining the key information (and the Wall itself!). This has allowed us to install in this same gallery the displays of the peacekeeping missions of the LI, including in the Far East and Bosnia.
In the autumn, we are planning on changing the displays on the 2nd floor, where the Light Infantry collection is displayed, to enable us to reinstate a fourth Light Infantry gallery, providing a suitable introduction to the regiment.

As you’ll see in Sophie and Mary’s articles, we are currently working towards gathering memories of the Light Infantry. We want to tell more stories of the regiment and bring the collection to life. By using oral and written histories, and by digitising some of our collection and making it available online, we hope we will be able to involve more Light Infantrymen in bringing a new dimension to the museum’s displays.

Meanwhile in our temporary exhibition space we have a Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition produced by the Maritime Archaeology Trust, ‘Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War’. The exhibition tells the stories of the incidences leading to some of the wrecks around Cornish waters, as well as looking at the wider context of WWI wrecks.

Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War - at Cornwall's Regimental Museum
Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War Exhibition

Changes to displays always mean spare cases, and so it is that you will now see an introduction to uniform, and a music display in the first gallery. We think this is a good use of the space in the museum, and a good introduction to some of the key features of the military over time.
The next touring exhibition will be coming to us in Easter 2018 from the Rifles Collection, Winchester. Entitled ‘I am a Rifleman’, it will look at the ethos and characteristics that define The Rifles. Watch this space!