The Regimental Museum
The Regimental Museum was first established in the Depot Keep at the Barracks in Highroad Well, Halifax, in 1921. It was later moved to a new building specifically built to house it, which is now occupied by the Regimental Headquarters, just outside the lower gate to the barracks. Its primary purpose was to educate recruits in the traditions and history of the Regiment. During the period of National Service (1948–1959) it was managed by the Depot Education Officer.
In 1961 After the Depot closed, the Museum was relocated to Bankfield Museum, one of the Halifax, (later Calderdale Borough) museums. In 1860 Edward Akroyd paid for and recruited the 4th Yorkshire West Riding (Halifax) Rifle Volunteers, absorbing the 7th battalion formed in 1959. In 1883 the title of the regiment changed to the First Volunteer Battalion (Duke of Wellington's) West Riding Regiment. A further change took place in 1908 when it became the 4th Battalion (DWR). In 1938 it changed name and role once more to the 58th Anti-Tank Regiment (DWR) Royal Artillery. Following several more post WW2 mergers of battalions in The Dukes it eventually became part of the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Volunteers (Duke of Wellington's).
The Museum was refurbished in 1984/5 and reopened by the Colonel in Chief, The Duke of Wellington in 1986. In 1991 the National Museums and Galleries Commission formally registered the Museum.
Further changes to the Museum displays were planned in 2003/4, The changes had a new style and and content to previous museum displays to tell the story of the Regiment "Through Soldiers Eyes”.
The first phase of this refurbishment was achieved with the assistance of a Grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It was opened By the Colonel of the Regiment, Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter KVCO OBE and the Mayor of Calderdale on the 22nd of October 2005.
The refurbished series of displays describe the history of the Regiment, backwards through time, from the present day back to 1702 when the Regiment was first raised by the 8th Earl Of Huntington. The display cases are related to, using audio recordings, by individual soldiers telling their own stories, bringing to life their background, conditions and experiences, during different periods of service, from today back through the Korean War to World War 2. A further refurbishment of cases prior to this date is being planned.
The emphasis of the Museum is placed on the unique traditions of the Regiment and its links with the West Riding of Yorkshire, links with the 1st Duke of Wellington and the sporting tradition of rugby football in the Dukes.
The Collection illustrates the history of the Regiment from the raising of the 33rd Foot in 1702 and the 76th Foot in 1787 to the present day. The Museum has undergone a recent redesign to tell the story of the Regiment ‘through the eyes’ of the soldiers who served in it. There is a strong emphasis on the unique traditions of the Regiment and its links with the West Riding of Yorkshire. Each period case focuses on two or three soldiers and tells their story in their own words through recordings and displays of their life in "The Dukes”. Other exhibits relate to the local Volunteer, Militia and Territorial Forces and there are display of objects associated with the Iron Duke himself and the Regiment’s heritage as a name synonymous with Rugby in the British Army. Modern museum techniques using audio recordings and touch screen computers enable access the Regimental photographic collection Access to the Regimental archive collection is by appointment.
Sgt Maj Dennis Mitchell
Sgt Walter Downs
Bankfield Museum is housed within a large Victorian mansion, on the Queensbury Road, one mile from the centre of Halifax, primarily housing a National Textile Museum. Calderdale Council provide much support, to the Regiment, and believe that the regimental museum is an important and relevant part of their heritage.
(Photographs by Richard Harvey)
Click to see Related Article published in the Halifax Courier 6 Febuary 2008: http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/news/Remember-our-brave-tough-lads.3746355.jp
The Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Museum
Telephone 01422 354823 / 01422 352334
Fax: 01422 349020
Open: Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10AM - 4PM.
Closed: Mondays, 25th December - 1st of January.
Admission and Parking is Free
Calderdale Museum Website: http://www.calderdale.gov.uk/leisure/museums-galleries/bankfield-museum/index.html
© Photo's by Richard Harvey