When the regimental museums of the forming corps closed with the merger, the individual collections, except for the Royal Engineers, were brought under one roof to form the RLC Museum of today.
Arriving at the museum, one finds a grander entrance than befits the small building. Once inside, the displays make best use of available space giving almost a cosy atmosphere, especially with the dark blue decor that matches the Corps colours.
History of Army Logistics
An illuminated wall greets the visitor with an array of images through the ages, all pertaining to army transport. Beyond the wall the main exhibits will be found.
Starting to the left, the visitor will chronologically follow the history of army logistics from the days of horses and mules to the present day hi-tech vehicles and aircraft. The displays detail land, sea and air operations from the intensity of WW1 and WW2 battles to the relative tranquillity of peace-keeping missions throughout the world.
Each cabinet focuses on a particular campaign, featuring artefacts, documents, medals, personal effects and models depicting an important event. Other cabinets concentrate on themes such as volunteer soldiers, important battles and postal services, each providing a wide array of articles and information.
Lord Montgomery’s Rolls Royce
Disappointingly there is only one vehicle on display. That being Lord Montgomery’s Rolls Royce. Acquired by the Ministry of War Transport, this 1939 Silver Wraith was used by ‘Monty’ while he was Commander of 21 Army Group and later Commander of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). It was the first civilian vehicle to land at Juno Beach, landing on the 9th June 1944, three days after the start of the Normandy Landings.
The museum holds an archive consisting of documents, unit histories, photographs, maps, war diaries, Corps Journals and large medal collection. Five members of the Royal Logistics Corps and its predecessors were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest British award for gallantry.
As with all archives, some records are more detailed than others, depending on the original writer, and later campaigns are more fully documented than early campaigns, such as the Crimean war.
Research at the RLC Museum
Researchers, whether their interests are military or family history, will find the knowledgeable staff welcoming. It is advisable for visitors to attend by appointment to allow staff to retrieve relevant documents from the archive.
Researchers unable to attend in person can request information, preferably by letter, although there may be a small charge to cover the archivist’s time and any copying required.
Throughout the year, special events are organised with themes as diverse as ‘army food through the ages’ to ‘weapons through the ages’.
RLC Museum Hours
The museum is open, with full disabled access, from Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.00pm and 12.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays during the summer months. Entry is free to both museum and for the special events.