The Army Flying Museum in Hampshire tells the story of aviation in the British Army.
The Army Flying Museum is located next to the Army Air Corps Centre in Middle Wallop. It covers the history of British Army Aviation from the Royal Engineers Balloon sections through the establishment of the Royal Flying Corps, the Air Observation Post (AOP) Squadrons and Glider Pilot Regiment to the establishment of the Army Air Corps. As can be expected in an aviation museum there are a nice selection of aircraft for the visitor to examine. But in addition there is a great selection of uniforms, insignia and equipment related to the history and operational deployments of the various units represented in the museum. This includes some absolutely unique items such as the original proposed design for the Air Observation Post Pilots qualification that was prototyped by the Royal School of Needlework in 1940. A one off and very interesting piece of insignia.
The displays are well organized and there is a wealth of information to support the artifacts on display. For a collector with an interest in military aviation or the Allied airborne operations in World War 2 this museum is definitely worth a visit.
Museum of Army Flying
Hampshire SO20 8DY, United Kingdom
The Airborne Assault Museum is housed within the IWM Duxford complex and visitors have to buy an entry ticket to the Imperial War Museum Duxford to gain entry to Airborne Assault.
Yamaha Quad All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Afghanistan 2010. The ATV’s with attached trailers deliver food, water and ammunition to troops in difficult to access areas or where larger vehicles are not suitable. Photo: Julian Tennant
Horsa Glider nose cone and exhibit displays in the Airborne Assault Museum.
The Airborne Assault Museum traces the history of British Airborne Forces since their beginning in 1940 to the present day. The museum was originally established by the Committee of the Parachute Regiment Association in October 1946 and relocated from its former home in Browning Barracks, Aldershot to Hangar no.1 (Building 213) of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in 2008.
Some of the weapons and uniforms on display at Airborne Assault Duxford
Early WW2 era parachutist during training at Ringway. He wears the early smock and training helmet made by by SL & M Feathers Ltd and used between 1940-43.
Horsa Glider Pilot
WW2 Parachute Regiment soldier kitted up with equipment and parachute.
Horsa Glider cockpit nose cone.
Whilst relatively small and tucked away in the back corner of the hangar, the museum is extremely well done. The outside the entrance some of the heavy equipment used by the Airborne Forces is on display, but the really interesting stuff, for a collector like me, was inside. Lots of uniforms, weapons, personal kit and artifacts related to the Parachute Regiment and other Airborne soldiers from the time of their formation in 1940 through the various campaigns of WW2 to post war operations in the Suez crisis, Borneo, Aden, Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Kosovo, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
To visit Airborne Assault you have to buy an entry ticket to the Imperial War Museum Duxford, which will also give you entry to the other exhibition spaces, including the Land Warfare Display and the Royal Anglian Regiment Museum both of which are also worth a visit along with the other air warfare related displays. I’ll do a review and show some pictures of those exhibits in a future post.
Parachute Regiment crowd control duties, Op ‘Banner’, Northern Ireland 1960’s to early 70’s.
Para Sig wearing a 1959 pattern Denison smock. Note the claymore in front of his radio.
Glider Pilot Regiment battledress blouse with M.R.C. (Medical Research Council) body armour, consisting of three 1mm thick manganese steel plates, covering the chest, lower belly and lower back. They were usually worn under the denison smock.
Parachute Regiment circa 1944
Parachutist undertaking a static line jump with equipment.
Pathfinder of 16 Air Assault Brigade kitted out for a High Altitude parachute insertion. Photo: Julian Tennant
Parachute Regiment ‘Red Devils’ parachute display team display.
Subdued Parachutist wing and DZ flash worn by members of the 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.
Op ‘Corporate’ 1982 – Falkand Islands display.
“Crow” from 1 Para, Operation Agricola, Kosovo, 1999.
Located a short walk from Buckingham Palace, The Guards Museum contains information and artifacts relating to the five regiments of Foot Guards namely the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards.
Officers beret of the Guards Independent Parachute Company.
Guards Independent Parachute Company.
Uniforms and other artifacts related to the foot guards regiments during their deployments in the latter half of the 20th century.
Guards desert disruptive pattern uniform worn during deployments to the Middle East.
Tactical Recognition Flashes of the Brigade of Guards.
Ferret Scout car used by the Guards Independent Parachute Company.
This is a great little museum full of uniforms, medals, insignia and booty from their origins right through to current operational deployments. As a collector with an interest in airborne and special forces insignia, I was particularly impressed by the number of items related to G Squadron of 22SAS Regiment and the Guards Independent Parachute Company including a Burnous cloak worn by a guardsmen serving with the SAS during the first Gulf War. The exhibits are well laid out with good descriptions, but photographs are usually not permitted. If you would like to do a personalised ‘walk and talk’ with one of the staff, you can do so for an extra £10 per person on top of the current £8 entry fee (discounted for pensioners, students, serving and ex-military personnel).
Brown Burnous and green Shemag worn by a member of G (Guards) Squadron 22 SAS Regiment during the Gulf War in 1991.
No. 2 Dress tunic of Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie of Graggy Bank. Note the ERII cypher indicating the Field Marshal is an ADC to the Queen and the SAS ‘moth’ para wings on the upper right arm. Photo: Julian Tennant
Co-located just outside the museum, near the Birdcage Walk gate is the Guards shop known as The Guards Toy Soldier Centre, which is managed by MKL Models and features a range of toy soldiers from manufacturers such as William Britain plus Brigade of Guards related souvenirs such as mugs, blazer badges, spoons etc. The model figures are displayed in a range of dioramas as well the usual display cabinets and even just a trip to the shop is worthwhile in itself.
Extremely rare Coldstream Guards Other Ranks Shako worn only from 1829 until 1831 when the bearskin cap was first introduced to the Regiment.
Jacket worn by Field Marshal Arthur Duke of Wellington KG, two days before the Battle of Waterloo.
The Guards Museum Wellington Barracks. Photo: Julian Tennant
Entrance to The Guards Museum.
Co-located just outside the museum is The Guards Toy Soldier Centre which serves as a museum shop as well as selling an impressive range of model and toy soldiers.
The Guards Museum Wellington Barracks Birdcage Walk London SW1E 6HQ United Kingdom