The Royal Marines Museum will be hosting the 'Shoulder2Shoulder' special exhibition between 2 and 20 April. This week on our blog you'll hear from our guest blogger, photographer Petty Officer Hamish Burke whose photos are featured in the exhibition.
The Shoulder2Shoulder exhibition came about following 3 Commando Brigade's tour to Helmand last year on Op HERRICK 14. On a daily basis top-class images from highly trained service photographers arrived at the headquarters in Lashkar Gah - sent in by email from remote patrol bases or flung onto a disc and delivered by hand via a helicopter re-supply. Day in and day out, our embedded photographers who are Royal Marines, Sailors and Soldiers are deployed in the most challenging and dangerous circumstances to tell the stories of our men and women. Without them and their work, the UK public, our families and supporters would have very little idea about the realities of day to day life in Helmand.
At this time of year we approach the anniversary of one of the Royal Marines’ Victoria Cross (VC) winners – Thomas Peck Hunter. Tom Hunter won his VC only a month before the end of the Second World War in the Italian Campaign. Many people are unaware that in 1945 Britain was still fighting on two fronts in Europe, as well as the Far East.
Tom Hunter had joined the Royal Marines in 1942, as a ‘Hostilities Only’ Marine. He had grown up in Edinburgh and trained in Devon. Soon he was posted to one of the new Commando Units, 43 (RM) Commando. He’d done quite well in the Light Machine Gun shooting competition and by the time he found himself in Italy on 3 April 1945, he was in charge of a Bren Gun Group within the unit.
The trebuchet, mightiest siege weapon of the medieval world. An awesome sight when in full flight. How could such an impressive thing have gone so wrong?
For an event we ran last summer Michael had built us a trebuchet. It was about 12 feet to the top of the swing arm. We ran a few tests on the front lawn of the Museum to see what would be best to fire from it. We found that the acceleration on the swing arm vaporised water balloons! It was like being in a very brief but heavy rain shower. We figured firing bricks was probably a bad idea, or at least one that could get us into trouble. So we settled on large baking potatoes. What could possibly go wrong?
On Sunday 19th February 2012, the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea are running an open day where anyone thinking about researching their Naval and Royal Marines Military Ancestors can come along to hear a case study and short presentations to demonstrate how to look for information and what that information can tell you.
Embedded with Lima Company of the Royal Marines during a six-month deployment in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, award-winning documentary filmmaker Chris Terrill reports on what it is really like to work in one of the most dangerous locations in the world.
Episode 1 'Deadly Under Foot'
Available for replay on Channel 5 On Demand after it's aired (UK residents only)
This week has seen the return of the 13 inch Mortar to the Royal Marines Museum after a year of restoration. The restoration of the 13-inch mortar has been achieved thanks to generous financial assistance from Colin Maitland (a former Royal Marine) and the Friends of the Royal Marines Museum. The work has involved the creation of a new wooden base for the mortar – a replica of the original – and the refurbishment of the mortar’s barrel. The wood used for the base is oak and it has not been painted because this is how it would have looked originally. The cast-iron barrel has now been painted black rather than grey and this means it is back to its original appearance.
The Minstrels Gallery of the Royal Marines Museum is the perfect majestic setting for an evening of dining and mystery as you take your seat for a Victorian Dinner that Dickens’ himself would be proud of. Enjoy a superb meal and drinks, interrogate the characters, work together to identify the murderer and decide the motive and method of the crime. Then when after dinner coffee is served you can reach your conclusions and all will be revealed.
There are two sittings for dinner, 7pm to 9.30pm or 8.30 pm to 11pm
The Royal Marines Museum had a visit from 30 Commando today. They presented the Museum's curator Ian Maine with a commemorative plaque. The plaque has the new name that was adopted last year to reflect the increased focus on intelligence and information gathering. 80% of the Marines who visited today came back from a tour of Afghanistan last summer.
February Half Term at the Royal Marines Museum we'll be running a series of 'Combat Intelligence' activities aimed at 4-14 year olds. Sessions will run at 11am and 2pm Monday to Friday. More details can be found here
The Royal Marines Band Service Corps of Drums are at the Museum today to have new offical photographs taken.
The new photos give the band an opportunity to show off their new drums which have been specially made form them by Pearl. The drums have been a year in production and take over from a previous make and model of drum which the band have used for the last 25 years.
If you'd like to see the band in action tickets for the Mountbattern Festival of Music went on sale on 9th January and are available from
For those that served in the Falklands War the kit layout picture may bring back some memories. But how does a curator, who was only just born at the time of the Falklands War, know what was used and worn in the Falklands?
New Year is a good time to dust off the cobwebs and have a good sort out of your things. Out with the old and in with the new. This year while you’re rooting around in your attic or throwing things out from your garage or garden shed, have a look and see if there is any Royal Marines memorabilia from your ancestors being stored, you might be surprised at what you find.
With only a few days left until Christmas here is a must buy for everyones shopping list. Unless you've been living under a rock you'll be aware of the Military Wives and their single' Wherever You Are' which was written for Gareth Malone's Military Wives Choir, whose husbands served in Afghanistan. The song is the fastest-selling single for six years and is tipped to be the Christmas number one single.
Over the past three years the Royal Marines Museum and the Royal Marines Historical Society in Hampshire have been recording oral history interviews with serving Royal Marines about their experiences in Afghanistan.
Oral history interviews are usually conducted after a Royal Marine has completed their full career, meaning there can be a large period of time between a conflict and when the interview is conducted.
In 2008, the museum decided to create an exhibition about Afghanistan, which now has been installed in the permanent galleries. Because there had been little written at that time on the subject, oral history interviews were needed to help the project staff with their research.