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King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum

2016-2017 Report

Vice President
Colonel John de Cordova OBE


Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Warren (Chairman)
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Dew
Major Stephen Firth MBE
Mr John Hardy
Major Daniel Parsonage
Major James Welsh
Mr Paul Thompson
Mrs Sue Ashworth
(ex-officio County Museum Service)
Councillor Elizabeth Scott
(ex-officio Armed Forces Champion,
Lancaster City Council)


Peter Donnelly BA AMA – Curator

The museum is supported by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council.

Chairman’s Introduction

Once again I am able to report another busy and positive year for the Regimental Museum. Our 2016 Battle of the Somme Exhibition has been followed by a 2017 exhibition to mark the Centenary of the White Lund Explosion. On 1st October 1917 the Munitions Works at White Lund Morecambe exploded with devastating consequences for the local community. The exhibition about local people, both men and women, has provoked much community interest about an incident initially concealed from the public domain.
Next year is the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. Plans are now in hand for a further major exhibition. This will be our fourth exhibition commemorating the First World War. Without the financial help of the Sir John Fisher Foundation and the Army Museums Ogilby Trust these endeavours would be impossible. The Trustees are very grateful to both Charities particularly the Sir John Fisher Foundation for its continued support.

This year the Trust Deed has been updated with the Charity Commission to mirror the model deed approved by the Army Museums Ogilby Trust. The process has taken some time to enact but was a positive step to bring the Museum in line with good practice and procedure.

The uncertainty about the future of the City Museum remains unresolved. However the Museum flourishes with much local support and goodwill. The Trustees are grateful to the City of Lancaster and the Friends of the Lancaster City Museum. We remain confident that the Regimental Museum will continue in Lancaster for many years to come. Let the journey continue.

Colonel Christopher Warren


Yet another fantastically busy and successful year has passed. So much has happened in the period April 2016 to March 2017, some of which planned, but some of which un-expected, but we rose to the challenge and provided the goods! Not least the highly successful 141 Days: The Battle of the Somme Exhibition, and then the outstanding Recommissioned project, more of both of these later in this report.

The museum is pushing forward on all fronts, we are acquiring great items, we are displaying our collections and mounting major exhibitions, we are making information available through our website and the curator has been reaching outside the museum with talks and school visits.

We could not do the work we do without the support from Lancaster City Council who financially support Lancaster City Museum, including the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum. Also the support from the Sir John Fisher Foundation and the Army Museums Ogibly Trust and major supporters is much appreciated.

For the future we have many plans for 2017. Not least is yet another major exhibition at the City Museum, ‘Boomtown: From Front Line to White Lund’ will tell the story of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment around the world, and then bring the story right back home to Lancaster and Morecambe and district where we will look at war time production and the two munition works, one of which exploded on 1st October 1917, killed ten men and becoming embedded in local history.

We are also working with the Friends of Lancaster City Museum with a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for a project to explore the White Lund Munition Works explosion and once again take part in the Light Up Lancaster festival.
Other work also continues and the curator is looking forward to the publication of “Great War Britain: Lancaster” by the History Press which he has co-authored with three academics from the History Department at Lancaster University.


The museum trustees met at the annual meeting in November. The chairman welcomed Councillor Elizabeth Scott, Lancaster City Council’s Armed Forces Champion as an ex-officio member. The trustees agreed the new trust document, based upon the model deed of the Army Museums Ogilby Trust, and this will now be submitted to the Charity Commission for their approval.

The chairman reported on the various meetings which both he and Major Daniel Parsonage had attended with Lancaster City Council, including a meeting with the Economic Development Manager, about the potential for rejuvenation of the City Museum site.

Major Daniel Parsonage represented the Chairman at the meetings of the Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council Museum Advisory Panel. Major Parsonage and the Curator also attended a Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment Museum Co-ordination meeting in December 2016.


The museum holds full accreditation under the scheme operated by Arts Council England. An interim update of details were supplied to ACE in March 2017.

Charity Statement of Purpose and Public Benefit

The King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum provides a ‘living’ history of the character, activities, tradition and history of the British Army and in particular The King’s Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster. This is achieved through the preservation, interpretation and display of artefacts, archives etc for the purposes of historical research, information and education and the enjoyment of the general public.

Environmental Statement

The King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum is committed to do what it can to reduce our impact on the environment. Where possible the museum uses recycled and recyclable materials. Great effort is made to reuse envelopes, for example, for both correspondence and sales, this also saves money. The donation to the museum of used padded envelopes may appear to be a very minor thing, but this has reduced the packing costs of museum sales items to almost nil. We re-use paper, use recycled paper and card and recycle also sorts of waste material from paper and cardboard to tin cans and glass. Public transport is used where possible.
The Energy Performance Operation Rating of the City Museum building is 60, which rates the museum as ‘C’. ‘A’ being the most efficient, ‘G’ being the worst, and a rating of 100 would be typical for our type of building. (The building was also rated ‘C’ in the previous year.) (Certificate Reference Number: 0260-8913-0146-6440-8054)


The work of the museum would not be possible but for the help and support of many people. Some people are very generous in their time and support. It would be impossible to acknowledge and thank everyone but some assistance is above and beyond and needs specific mention. Great appreciation goes (in no specific order) to Gaynor Greenwood, Fergus Read, Howard Martin, Pat Shackleton, David Shackleton, Anne Donnelly, Paul Thompson, Graham Davis, Neil Barnett, Frank Rogers, Max Davison, Julie Brown and Danny Parsonage for their continued support and assistance to the Curator. To those named and to many more – a big thank you for all your help, advice, assistance and encouragement.

We’ve said farewell to Heather Dowler, Museum Manager at the City Museum for more than ten years. Heather left for pastures new in January 2017 and we would like to thank her for her support of the Regimental Museum over the years and wish to well in her future endeavours.


141 Days: The Battle of the Somme.

The major exhibition at Lancaster City Museum from July to November was another exhibition covering the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in the First World War. Due to the planned exhibition not receiving the expected funding, there was a gap in the exhibition programme, which the King’s Own was able to fill. With once again fantastic financial support from both the Sir John Fisher Foundation and the Army Museums Ogilby Trust the exhibition, as the title stated, looked at the 141 Days of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

The exhibition was fantastic, and it was seen by 22 379 visitors. We had thought that the number visiting the War! 1914 exhibition at 18 660 visitors was impressive, but to top that was fantastic. (The exhibition figures also contributed to the City Museum’s total visitor figure of just over 60 000 for the year.)
The exhibition told the story of the King’s Own battalions on the Somme and those soldiers who served with the Regiment. It included both local soldiers and men who were recruited from a little further a field. It was pleasing to see visitors from across the United Kingdom coming to see the exhibition which related to their relatives.

A major feature was made of the Victoria Cross awarded to Private James Miller for his brave act of gallantry when he carried a vital message and returned with the reply, on 30th July 1917. Many descendants of Miller have visited the exhibition and a fitting and appropriate event took place on the 100th anniversary of the action which was well attended by both specially invited guests and ordinary members of the public.

Later in this report you can see some of the comments left by visitors to the 141 Days Exhibition.


RECOMMISSIONED was a programme of public open access activities and performances, exploring the unheard voices and untold stories from the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Incorporating and platforming objects relating to the soldiers who served in the Battle of the Somme, this is a new way to explore and open up history and encourage new audiences to the museum. The projected was presented by ‘Sound and Motion’ the Friends of Lancaster City Museum, the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We were visited by three local schools, Moorside in Lancaster, Sandylands in Morecambe and Ellel St. John in Galgate. The pupils visited and learnt about the Battle of the Somme, met our First World War soldier character, and were inspired to do some creative writing and screen print larks.
The art installation produced for RECOMMISSIONED was “Larks Ascending”. 141 Larks ascend with extracts of responses from the participation of children in workshops, working with Visual Artist Jenny McCabe.

RECOMMISSIONED performances, each of 15 minutes length, were held as part of Light Up Lancaster on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th November 2016, with additional performances held on Friday 11th November. The story of the Battle of the Somme was told through light, sound, text and movement, the promenade performances illuminated stories of those who trained, fought and experienced the battle of the Somme.

A fantastic 588 people saw the performances, these are some of the comments from those who saw it:

Extremely moving piece of theatre, saw the 17:00 performance tonight. Particularly poignant on this the 11th day of the 11th month. Congratulations to all involved.

This was amazing xxx enjoyed greatly xxx Thank you x

Most moving 15minutes of theatre, and of young lives and love in battle I’ve ever experienced...

it was probably the most moving event I have ever been to being an ex regular soldier (40 years) it was fantastic it moved me !

This is powerful and very moving piece of theatre, don’t miss it!

I got the last tickets last Sat night it was brilliant very moving well done to the people involved.

Everyone who attended received a brown envelope on which was the name of a soldier of the King’s Own. At the end of the performance guests were invited to open the envelope and see the fate of the soldier.

The King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum is most grateful to Louie Ingham and Mark Melville of ‘Sound and Motion’; Jenny McCabe, visual artist and Steve Fairclough, learning co-ordinator; actors Alex McCaragher, Caoife Turner and Jamie Mason-Milward; production manager Al Parkinson; Tim Padfield and Anne-Marie Knowles who gave talks as part of the project; Carolyn Primett and Julie Brown for their assistance with the project, Frank Rogers and Neil Barnett for assistance with the costume and last but by no means least our wonderful performance guides: Louise Bryning, Alan Sandham, Roger Mace, Heather Dowler, Neil Spencer, Anita Taylor, Paul Thompson, Sue Ashworth and Danny Parsonage.

Meet the Soldier

The museum’s popular “Meet the First World War Soldier Character” sessions were held at various times through out the year, including Heritage Open Days. Meet the soldier became a key part of “Trench Tuesdays” throughout the school summer holidays, where the soldier was present at the same time as family friendly craft and music events were held as part of the 141 Days: The Battle of the Somme Exhibition. Sessions were also held outside the museum, including the Lancaster University’s Campus in the City display. These sessions are very popular and easy to run with limited cost.

Collections Management

There have been some continued challenges this year in keeping the collections safe and well. Whilst some capital works were successfully completed in the previous financial year which has solved some of the rain water issues, the continued poor state of the roof of the King’s Own gallery is a concern. The replacement of the roof is part of a larger capital works project which was due to start on 26th March 2017. In preparation for these works the curator has worked hard to relocate items from the stores to alternative places. Not always that easy with the limited space available within the museum! Two filing cabinets have been relocated from the museum’s store to other rooms, and the small object collection drawers have been relocated to the curator’s office in readiness for the works to start. The works sadly did not start on 26th March due to various issues, but they are planned to start in the next financial year.

We have to remain alert to the physical threats to the collections, both on display and in store. We very much welcome the City Council’s major Capital works programme for the entire City Museum building, and look forward to these works starting before too long.


We continue to live in hard financial times, and a lot of hard work is spent on raising money for the museum. It is pleasing to note some successes compared to last year. The brand new donation box in the gallery has seen donations rise from £481 in 2015/16 to £1282 in 2016/17. Sales income is down compared to previous years, but money raised from donations, photograph sales and reproduction rights and talks have all increased. The museum received £14 500 worth of grants for exhibitions and other projects. Even the bank interest increased from £26.79 in 2015/16 to £30.55 in 2016/17!

Income from grants is key to the museum’s successful operation and the trustees are most grateful for the continued support from the Sir John Fisher Foundation and the Army Museums Ogilby Trust.

The Museum submitted an application for the section 33A VAT Refund scheme for museums and galleries, and we have been informed that we have met the required criteria. The matter is due to go before parliament in the spring of 2017, which will then allow the museum to reclaim VAT paid on various items purchased relating to exhibitions and collections management etc.

The museum has one regular donor, who makes a monthly payment by standing order. The take up of this scheme has been very disappointing.

The museum has received no bequests in the reporting year.

A full financial report has been prepared and will be presented to the Trustees at their meeting in November 2017.


The website continues to be a key method of delivery of information on the museum’s collections and the history of the King’s Own Royal Regiment. The transfer, last year, to a new host and new web address does not appear to have caused any problems, and the operation of the website is pretty much straight forward and on the whole it looks after itself!

Many enquiries un-related to the King’s Own Regiment itself, are generated by the website. People find something on the museum’s website through a search engine and then can take their enquiry further by email. Sometimes there’s nothing more we can provide, but we have on a number of occasion been able to provide high resolution images at a modest charge.

Monthly Website Visits were as follows
2016/17 Website Visitors
April 5219
May 2816
June 4081
July 6236
August 5743
September 6367
October 7992
November 8111
December 8585
January 9072
February 8539
March 7462
Total 80223

Additions to the website:

Information and collections relating to the following soldiers:
Private William Lawson Wright, 2nd/5th Battalion, King’s Own
Lance Corporal Alfred John Ling, 7th Battalion, King’s Own
Private Archie Roddis, 8th Battalion, King’s Own
Private James Hall, 2nd/5th Battalion, King’s Own
Sergeant William Wilson Rennie, 1st Battalion, King’s Own
Private Herbert Royle, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own
The album of photographs and documents of Chaplain Kevin Wilson of the 1st/5th Battalion, King’s Own, First World War.
List of residents of Westfield Village in 1933
Photographs of Bowerham Barracks, Lancaster
Listing of 742 books held in the museum’s collection.
New acquisitions added throughout the website.

77% of the museum’s collection is now listed or digitally copied and added to the website. There are now over 20 000 images on the website which includes digital copies of photographs and photographs of objects. Most new acquisitions are added to the website, some within a day or so of their arrival!

Schools Engagement

Over 800 school children from a number of schools have learnt about the First World War through visiting the museum or a “meet the soldier” session held at their school. The curator visited schools in both June, to mark the anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme and in November to tie in with Remembrance Day. Three schools also visited the museum as part of the Recommissioned project, run by the Friends of Lancaster City Museum and financially supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is clear there is much interest from primary schools in relation to the First World War and remembrance. Many now not only mark two minutes silence on the 11th November, but also visit their local war memorials, as was the case with the Ellel Saint John’s CE Primary School at Galgate, which also held a parents afternoon on the 11th November, in which the curator took part.


The museum continues to answer many hundreds of enquiries each year, and again the answers are supported by information on the museum’s website. People can be directed to the website to see photographs or learn of more information particular to their enquiry. A total of 1143 enquiries were answered, the majority of which were received and answered by email.

Talks & Tours

The curator continued to provide talks and walking tours of Lancaster to local groups both within the district and further a field. A number of Great War guided walks of Lancaster took place as part of the Recommissioned Project. Subjects covered in the City Museum’s talks programme included Regimental Archives and the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme. A special event was held on 30th July 2016 to mark the centenary of the action for which Private James Miller was awarded the Victoria Cross. The VC was a central part of the 141 Days: The Battle of the Somme Exhibition.
The museum took a full part in Heritage Open Days in September 2016, which saw talks, “meet the soldier” sessions and the screening of the Kendal Home Guard film in partnership with the Archives Office in Kendal.

Work with outside bodies

Army Museums Ogilby Trust
Western Front Association – North Lancashire Branch
War Memorials Trust
Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment & Association
BBC Radio Lancashire
North West Evening Mail, Barrow
Imperial War Museum (Centenary Partnership)
First World War Group – Lancaster City Council
Heritage Open Days
Cumbria Archives & Local Studies Centre, Kendal
Tourism & Marketing Department – Lancaster City Council
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Friends of Lancaster City Museum
Who Do You Think You Are? Live
History Department, Lancaster University
Campus in the City, Lancaster University
Dukes Cinema, Lancaster
First Fridays – Lancaster Arts City
Light Up Lancaster

The Curator is a personal member of the following organisations:
Associate of the Museums Association
Friends of Lancaster City Museum

The Museum is a member of
Military History Society
Salonika Campaign Society

The Curator made a number of visits and attended a number of events:
Various talks at the North Lancashire Branch of the Western Front Association
Imperial War Museum First World War Centenary Group Meetings
Army Museums Ogilby Trust Conference
First World War Centenary Meetings led by Lancaster City Council.


It has yet again been a good year for acquisitions and many interesting things have been acquired for the museum’s collection. It is interesting that more material has been donated relating to Captain Albert Ellwood MC. The first item relating to Captain Ellwood was donated to the museum in 1946, which was a water colour sketch of a Lewis Gunner of the 1st/4th Battalion in the July 1917. Subsequent donations have included his Military Cross, Memorial Plaque and this year some notebooks and postcards relating to his service. Five different donations, from different members of his family, have come to the museum in the past 70 years.
More material has been donated relating to Sergeant Albert Holt, who served with both the 1st/4th and 1st/5th Battalions of the King’s Own in the First World War, including some wonderful photographs which have already been digitised and added to the museum’s website.
Not everything is donated, and a constant check is kept on the internet auction site, Ebay, but also other auction sale rooms. A scrap album of photographs and documents relating to Chaplain Keith Wilson, who was padre to the 1st/5th Battalion between 1917 and 1918. The album containing both personal and regimental items which bought from an auction in Kent.
Amongst the medals which have been donated this year, are a First World War Military Medal group, and a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to a 19th Century soldier. Colour Sergeant Patrick McCraith had served with the 4th Foot from 1839 to 1860, and had been awarded the medal at a time when it was a very difficult medal to receive (on the basis of good conduct rather than the long service!), and those who received it were much respected by their comrades. It was certainly not a medal “handed out with the rations” and viewed by many as second only to the Victoria Cross.

The full accession listing for the year 2016-17 appears below:

KO3046 Photographs, documents, cigarette cards, embroidered cushion from Egypt, 1941, drawing of drum majors staff from Henry Potter & Co, Aldershot, and silver vesta case presented to Richard Roocroft, 1st Volunteer Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Purchased on internet auction site, Ebay.
KO3047 British War and Allied Victory Medal, identity disc, photographs and discharge certificate of Private William Lawson Wright, 2nd/5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Purchased.
KO3048 Book: Soldiers as Workers, Class Employment, conflict and the nineteenth-century military. By Nick Mansfield, Liverpool University Press. Published 2016. Gift of Liverpool University Press, Liverpool.
KO3049 1914/15 Star and fibre identity disc to Private Harry Ferguson, number 240130, 1st/5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. From the estate of Mr T R W Ferguson, via Holdens Solicitors, Kendal.
KO3050 British War and Allied Victory Medal and Memorial Plaque to Lance corporal Alfred John Ling, number 26816, 7th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Killed in action 22 Sep 1917. London School Board Attendance Medals, photographs, documents. Gift of Mrs Sylvia Chapman, Swaffham.
KO3051 Photos lent to be copied of the 2nd Battalion King’s Own at the King’s Birthday Parade, Asmara, Eritrea, 1948 and group photo of those soldiers of the King’s Own who took part in the 1953 Coronation Parade in London. Lent to be copied by Mr Leonard Knowles, Lancaster
KO3052 Photographs of Grave of Lance corporal Cleaver Lawrence Alfred Newitt, number 3707676, King’s Own Royal Regiment. Who died 11 Nov 1941 at the age of 35 years. Son of Alfred Herbert and Eliza Newitt. Husband of Eva Newitt of Bermondsey. Buried in Nunhead All Saints Cemetery, South London. Also photos of War Graves commission information panels in the same cemetery. Photographed by Peter Donnelly, Curator.
KO3053 Photographs, notebooks, postcards, pencil drawing relating to Captain Albert E Ellwood MC, 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Gift of Mr Raymond Ellwood (nephew) Kendal.
KO3054 Photographs and postcards, relating to the First World War service of Private Albert Holt, 5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, in both England and on the Western Front. Gift of Mrs Jan Henschke, Bare, Morecambe.
KO3055 Souvenir Programme for the Warrant Officers, Colour Sergeants and Sergeants, 1st Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, Reunion Ball at Saighton Camp, Chester, 7 Oct 1950. Gift of Gwyn Evans, Cockermouth, Donor had a family printing business in Chester and they printed items for many of the regiments which were based in Chester.
KO3056 Location cards for the 1st Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, from 1946 to 1959 originally used by the Army Staff Duties Branch. Gift of Army Historical Branch.
KO3057 1914/15 Star and Allied Victory Medal of 2nd Lieutenant George Rowland Paget Howson, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. With photographs and letters relating to his service and death. Gift of Mr A R P Williams, Aston End, Hertfordshire.
KO3058 Army kit bag named to Private Baker, 23061138, King’s Own Royal Regiment, HMT Cheshire, Hong Kong to United Kingdom. Gift of Mr Trevor Lawton, Ashton-under Lyne.
KO3059 Military Medal, 1914/15 Star, British War and Allied Victory Medal awarded to Private James Hall, number 240507, 1st/5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Plus two gallant conduct cards, bugle, photographs and postcards. From the estate of Mr G P Hall, via the Executor, Mr Harris, from Mr Leslie Wilkinson, Halton, Lancaster.
KO3060 Scrap album relating to Chaplain Kevin Wilson, who was Padre to the 1st/5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment circa 1917-1918. Purchased at Auction.
KO3061 Correspondence relating to the death of Private Herbert J Royle, number 3714549, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, killed by accident on 18th March 1944 in Burma, sent to his wife. Includes matters concerning the payment of benefits etc. Gift of Mrs Christine Sleightholme, Blackpool.
KO3062 Photographs relating to the service of Sergeant William Rennie, 1st Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, in India, circa 1930s and Second World War. Pair of embroidered handkerchiefs. Gift of Mr Anthony E Rennie, Largs, Ayrshire.
KO3063 Book: Ladybarn Men. In Memory of the men of St. Chad’s, Ladybarn, Manchester, who gave their lives in The Great War 1914-1918. By John Davies. Gift of the author.
KO3064 1914-15 Star, British War and Allied Victory Medals to Private Richard Holland, number 200619, 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Bequest of Mr Holland, son, from executor Mr David Williams, Long Newton, Stockton on Tees
KO3065 Digital photograph supplied by Morton & Eden Ltd, London
Roads of Remembrance Committee of the Roads Beautifying Association Bronze plaque named to 2nd Lieutenant A T (Peter) Nickel of the 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. (No further trace) and Captain Ralph D’Albini Morrell, of the 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, was killed in action on 8 Aug 1916 whilst in temporary command of the battalion in the Trones Wood sector, the Somme.
KO3066 Photograph of the 4th (TF) Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, Kirkham, 1912. Gift of Mr Ron French, Beccles, Norfolk, via Kirkham Library and the County Records Office, Preston,.
KO3067 Morecambe Bay Medical Journal, Military Medicine Edition, Autumn, 2015, Volume 7, Number 5. Including features on Captain Bingham, 1st/5th King’s Own. Gift of Mr Bryan Rhodes, Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Lancaster.
KO3028 Book: Infantry Divisions Identification Schemes, 1917. By Mike Hibberd. The Military Historical Society, Special Number, 2016. Purchased.
KO3029 Book: Burton in Lonsdale Remembers, Centenary of the Great War, 2014-2018, A commemorative trail around Burton in Lonsdale, North Yorkshire. Gift of the Publisher.
KO3070 Mantel Clock, made by Garrad Clocks Co. Britain, and marked with the retailers name ‘Kramer Cairo’. Plaque on the top of the clock states “Presented to RSM R R Ralph on his promotion by members of the Sergeants Mess, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, Cairo, 1940” Ralph Reginald Ralph was commissioned in 1940 in to the Leicester Regiment. Gift of Mr Andy Runciman, Paignton, Devon.
KO3071 Battle Dress Blouse, with King’s Own shoulder titles and evidence that other badges have been removed. The label on the inside has some information: “275833 Major Midgley, Burscough Station.” The number 275833 would, however, appear to belong to a Major A F Fletcher, who was major in Aug 1963. Lieutenant J E Midgley appears as number 271826, Captain Royal Engineers, Jun 1949. Gift of Neil Barnett, Burton in Holme.
KO3072 Documents relating to Private Michael Carradus, number 1044, 5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Gift of Mrs Julie Wilding, Lancaster.
KO3073 Long Service and Good Conduce Medal to Colour Sergeant Patrick McCraith, 4th King’s Own Royal Regiment. Gift of Dr Kennedy McCraith, Glasgow.

User Feedback:

What some of our visitors said:

I particularly liked the Lieutenant Colonel’s [Bois] watercolours [of Salonika], but the war exhibition was well delivered and very memorable visit.
My 3x great grandfather was a soldier in the 4th Regiment of Foot [Visitor from Australia]
Great exhibition of WW1. Very interesting
Regimental museum – outstanding!

What some of our visitors said about 141 Days: The Battle of the Somme Exhibition
A really fascinating exhibition. Reading the displays makes the problems of today feel wholly insignificant.
Heartbreakingly sad – I could not stop crying! A wonderful and informative exhibition.
Very sad and moving. A very informative exhibition.
Very effective display created with imagination. The YMCA hut and tea caravan – brilliant, and so atmospheric.
Brought kids, they were very interested and asked lots of questions. Fantastic exhibition.
A well presented and touching reminder of the reality of war.
Came to see the VC of my great great uncle, James Miller. So moved to see the lovely exhibition. Moving to see how many gave their lives.
An effective and informative exhibition.
The exhibition is really interesting. I like the videos being played.
A superb exhibition with interesting displays.
Very moving and multi-faceted.
Brilliant tribute to the King’s Own, and the Great War. Very emotional to see actual artefacts and stunning displays.
Great for GCSE learning and super fun.
Very informative and simple to understand for children.
Fab time, loved it!
Excellent! Left feeling very sad.
I liked the big guns.
Extremely informative and well laid out.
A deeply moving experience that tells the story of so many brave heroes doing their duty for King and Country. One of which was my wife’s great great grandfather (4855 Sergeant Anthony Hoyle).
It has felt very sombre coming here today, 100 years after the end of the Battle of the Somme. I thought the displays the museum has showed to be fascinating and I was particularly struck by the aerial photographs of Guillemont where my ancestor Sergeant J E Towers, was killed days after it was taken.
A magnificently put together exhibition; one of the very best I have seen at the museum during the past 40 years.
Good for the children to understand the meaning of the Somme in pictures and artefacts.
Very poignant
I find this exhibition a sobering reminder of the suffering in times gone by. The silk postcards are especially interesting as I have never seen any before. They are a touching reminder of the families who lost as well as those killed in action. Thank you!
A superb exhibition. Plenty of good content and with some thought provoking episodes. A nice tribute to the King’s Own men. We hope to see later exhibitions here.
Very tastefully handled exhibition on the Somme, a testament to all involved.
Makes you realise who the true heroes are in life. NOT politicians or pop stars etc.
Very interesting, our culture needs to be maintained. Stop closing museums.
Great exhibits, wonderful Lancaster regiment display.

What some of our enquirer’s said:

I’m so glad that I was ‘lucky’ in your search, I can’t quite believe you were able to respond so quickly - thank you. (Coincidentally, it was my father’s birthday yesterday so maybe some luck came from this!). I enjoyed looking at your site knowing which battalion my father was in and will also take it further with Glasgow. I’ll be very happy to make a contribution to your organisation and will do so this evening.
Many thanks for your kind response to my request for information about Private Albert Rusconi, one of the Great War casualties listed on our War Memorial.
Thank you very much for this information. My great uncle served in Salonika so I will certainly come along to the museum soon to see the exhibition.
I have passed on the details you provided to the school and they are really delighted to be able to piece together more of the story of ‘their’ PoW. I had already pointed them to the very useful information on your website about the Prisoner of War Care Committee.
Thank you for the swift reply and the information regarding the UN medal, I will follow your link for the other medals.
Thank you for your email with the information and the links, it adds a little more information to the puzzle. Thanks again for your time.
Wow, That’s a shocker about the photograph. I wonder why we have it then. Maybe another ancestor is on it. Many thanks for the info and confirmation that I have the correct war diary. Thank you for the link, I will certainly check it out. I really appreciate your time and help
Many thanks for your research. I had no idea that The King’s Own had an armoured Bn; I had thought that it was only Foot Guards which did that.
I do appreciate your further reply and for explaining matters to me which is much appreciated and interesting to note.
Thank you for your prompt response. Your note about the training and location certainly chimes with my thoughts.
Thank you Peter, you have been a great help, I will press on with these leads you have given me.
Thanks for the prompt reply to my request for information and guidance.
Thank you for your prompt and informative reply. The details supplied, though brief, have cleared up certain queries about when he joined, which battalion he served in and when he was promoted. We will certainly be following up with the army service records to find out where he was during the remainder of the war years. Congratulations on the website. It is extremely interesting, full of detail and very informative.
Thank you kindly for providing the information below - I’m sincerely grateful for your time - it’s much appreciated. This is really interesting and the additional information help me to piece things together. Next time I return to the UK and to Lancaster I will be sure to stop by.
Many thanks for your speedy response. Much appreciated.
Thanks for the insight into newspapers in Lancaster during WW1. Clearly not a straightforward thing!
I apologise for not thanking you for you emailed information. It was lost amongst my other mail. You must have thought me rude? I very much appreciate you taking time to research and reply to me.
Thank you so much for your prompt and informative response to my enquiry about my great uncle Private Thomas Pickup. This information is really appreciated. It is only recently that I became aware of the fate of Thomas hence my interest in the possible circumstances of his death.
Thank you so much. This is very much appreciated indeed. I shall pass this information on to my cousins in England and also to my Aunt, Valerie Lowes, his last surviving child. It is wonderful that your museum provides such services, assisting in commemorating the brave service of members of the King’s Own and I shall be delighted to make a donation to the museum in memory of my grandfather, best wishes.
Thank you so much for your very prompt reply to my email.
Thank you for the swift reply and all the information. Much more than I expected. I am delighted and I know my grandchildren mainly the twin boys will be also. Well he certainly moved around during his time in the army. To say I am excited is an understatement. All war is nasty but what the men and the women had to deal with was truly frightening. It is to all of those that fought we should give our most grateful thanks everyday. Thank you once again for your help, I am making sure I will call into the museum in the not to distant future. Bringing a small donation to help towards its upkeep. My very best wishes to you and let us not forget all they gave to keep us safe.
Thank you once again for your time and effort in helping me piece together the information about my Grandfather.
Thank you so much for your help, which has helped to clarify things. Thank you too for such a prompt response. I did leave a message, which will have been cut off as I talked for too long! I’m popping a small donation in the post by way of thanks, with a completed form for gift aid purposes.

Historical Facts and Figures

Year Visitors Web Visitors Enquiries
2016/17 60 797 80 223 1 143
2015/16 45 731 181 780 1 361
2014/15 51 647 202 779 1 985
2013/14 57 946 166 332 2 131
2012/13 48 886 132 448 1 359
2011/12 50 659 80 078 1 304
2010/11 49 884 50 559 1 217
2009/10 46 109 51 259 1 218
2008/09 44 388 50 800 1 630
2007/08 44 630 42 562 1 248
2006/07 43 127 18 051 1 165
2005/06 46 652   1 541
2004/05 54 423   1 503
2003/04 42 996   1 128
2002/03 40 531   952
2001/02 47 350   987
2000/01 51 030   1 052

Peter Donnelly BA AMA
Regimental Curator
King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum
Market Square

Curator Telephone: 01524 555619
Museum Telephone: 01524 64637





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