As an ex- paratrooper SWMBO's brother naturally wanted to see this first and so despite the small size of the display we manged to spend over an hour looking at the selection of Airborne memorabilia - from their early days up to modern day Afghanistan. The medals collection is very impressive with numerous VC's on display - both from WW2 up to the Falklands conflict. I was particularly taken with the uniforms and decorations of Col. John Frost of 2 Para at Arnhem Bridge fame - the display even included his famous hunting horn.
There was also a display of items from both the Radfan and Aden campaigns which was of particular interest as SWMBO's brother saw action there. One of the items on display was a shattered flash eliminator from the end of an SLR. SWMBO's brother was in the firing line alongside the lucky recipient of this souvenir when it happened - I say lucky because a millimetre either side and the chap in question would not be here today (he still is).
A number of ex servicemen serve as volunteers at the museum and on duty in the museum were a couple of ex-paratroopers and so, no doubt attracted by SWMBO's brothers rather distinctive tee-shirt soon introduced themselves and the three of them were soon swapping stories as only ex-servicemen can. It was quite amusing to listen to paratrooping anecdotes although as to me it felt almost like I was intruding at a family gathering!
After making our way from the Airborne Assault display we then went to explore the rest of the museum - starting with the Air/Space hall. For the most part many of the exhibits will be familiar to most wargamers with an interest in WW1 and 2 and so I shall confine myself to those oddities or items of particular personal interest starting with the Avro Anson.
Unfortunately I could not get the shot showing why this was of particular interest. The Anson was a trainer/liaison/light transport type and so why was this example mounting no less than 6 air-cooled Lewis guns? I don't know if this aircraft was used for air-gunner training so I am puzzled as to why it was carrying so much hardware.
Our next port of call was the land warfare display and some old friends made an appearance in the shape of the (in)famous Tiger tank - seen here located snugly in a shop front, no doubt awaiting the opportunity to inflict some damage on the assorted enemy hardware on display in the immediate vicinity (mainly Russian).
Of the immediate opposition to the above the Russians were most noticeable:
I have a few more shots from the Land Warfare hall which will be included in the final part of this post which I hope to tackle this evening. After we had finished up in there we headed to the US air hall and finished up in the Battle of Britain display and they will form the contents of part 2.