Director's Report

The museum's decision to begin concentrating on the demographic of families and young children seems to be paying dividends already. Despite missing out on Tall Ships this year (it is only run every other year and yields vast amounts of visitors and income) we are still well ahead of where we were last year. We are currently 1200 visitors up on the previous year and income is also doing well. However, this progress simply must be continued into the summer holidays for the museum to really thrive.

On that note, we currently have thirty-four events planned for the summer with several more still to be confirmed. The guys from RGBW Severn Branch have been amazing in helping us with the summer programme, and many of the events would not be possible without their vast contribution.

Of course, we shall never forget our core support of veterans and their families, but this new direction will help the museum survive, and then thrive, long into the future. Thank you everybody.

Summer Holiday Event Programme

Bouncy Castle

Date: 24th – 30th July & 14th – 20th August

Time: 10:00 – 15:30

Cost: £1.50 for 30 minutes

Tire the children out this summer holiday! They can leap, bouncy and play whilst you watch on from our café and have a coffee or cold drink.

Tank Buster!

Date: Every Thursday & Friday of the summer holidays (27th & 28th July, 3rd & 4th August, 10th and 11th August, 17th & 18thAugust, 24th August, 31st August)

Time: 11:00 – 15:00

Cost: Free with paid museum entry

Hide out in the bunker and look through your binoculars to find enemy tanks! Several of our veterans are highly trained in the identification and destruction of enemy vehicles. They’ll help you through the processes that they would have experienced.

Meet the Veterans!

Date: Every Monday of the holidays (24th July, 31st July, 7th August, 14th August, 21st August, 28th August)

Time: 11:00 – 15:00

Cost: Free with paid museum entry

Come and meet the veterans from a variety of eras including National Service, Korea, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. Understand how and why they fought and listen to some of their (cleaner!) stories.

Historical Re-enactors

Date: TBC

Time: 10:00 – 15:00

Cost: Free with paid museum entry

Come and meet soldiers from WWI and the Redcoat era. Learn about everyday life in the army during significant periods of the past.

Alongside the core events mentioned above, we've got plenty more including the possibility of meeting Jack Russell - the ex-England wicketkeeper and prolific artist - Morris Dancing and a talk by the JCCC. Of course, we also have our big set-piece summer events of Gloucester Goes Retro and Gloucester Day. To find out information on all of these, head over to our website or Facebook page.


Facebook: @soldiersofgloucestershire

Marketing is probably where the museum needs the most help, so if anyone is willing and able to print out the attached poster and display it in their homes or businesses, then you would be doing us a fantastic service. Thanks very much.

Trip to South Korea- By our chairman, Chris Ryland

Intro at Busan
Gloster Memorial
Director and Chair with N. Korea in background

Our continuing and developing relationship with South Korea is of significant relevance to the future direction of the museum potentially of its funding and I am sure the readers will be interested in how the joint Hon. Company of Gloucestershire and SOGM visit to Korea went in April.

On our first day in Korea, Matthew, Ellie and I went south to Busan and had a working day at the museum there (the United Nations Peace Memorial Hall). There we talked about plans for various joint projects. Since I was in Busan last four years ago, the UNPMH has expanded on their role as UN peacekeepers (the only country to move from a recipient of UN aid to a donor) and ROK currently has peacekeepers in Somali and elsewhere. The UNPMH now have thought provoking displays about post conflict issues such as the problems of land-mines, child soldiers and post conflict reconstruction – all issues that will sadly remain relevant for as long as armed conflict exists. We also visited the international cemetery  where many Glosters are buried which was very moving indeed.

We then spent three days in Paju our host city covering business, cultural and educational links in various meetings plus visit to the DMZ with all that that entails including massive hospitality from our hosts.

On the Tuesday we were at the Gloster Hill Memorial at the formal UN led ceremony in the morning and Andrew Salmon (journalist and author of To the Last Round who over three years ending in 2008 has interviewed virtually all the then survivors - many now no longer with us sadly) leading a battle field tour in the afternoon. We also managed an interview over a mobile phone link with the Radio Gloucestershire's morning show.

Then when the others went back, Mark McShane the Head of Stroud High School and I stayed on for a further day and we had meetings with teachers from eight Korean schools all looking for links with Gloucestershire schools. Mark has been very active since our return and he is now helping to set up Korean links with several of our local schools. Currently these a Crypt and Sir Thomas Riches in Gloucester and Balcarras and Dean Close in Cheltenham.

Ultimately I hope much will come out of our continuing relationships with Koreans, in terms of joint projects, kudos here in the UK with grant givers including the HLF (SOGM as a small museum punching well above its weight - helping the UK and Gloucestershire in particular building an international relationship) and eventually money from the Koreans themselves.

Highlight Object


This is a very recognisable propaganda image from the "Smash Japanese Aggression" series. But did you know the fearsome warriors depicted are the men of the Gloucestershire Regiment?

In 1942 the Japanese had the Allies on the run all over the East and their war machine looked invincible. Until...

'D' Company of 1st Battalion set an ambush for the Japanese at a place called Letpadan. It was a great success and made global news. This was the first time the Japanese had been truly bested but it would still be several years before they could be defeated.

Operation Portrait

Tommy, JAck and Martin Vine

It all began with a cricket match in St. Tropez! Jack Russell, retired England wicketkeeper and artist, was painting the scene from the boundaries edge. Our very own Brigadier Martin Vine OBE kindly offered Jack some refreshments and so began a great friendship.

As they struck up conversation both men realised they had a shared interest in the legendary stand at the Imjin River by the Gloucestershire Regiment. Jack had his interest piqued at an early age as his driving instructor, Sergeant Pegler, had fought at the battle. Martin Vine meanwhile was of course the last Commanding Officer of this storied Regiment.

Thus began Operation Portrait. The mission to immortalise the few remaining Imjin survivors in oils. Only nine men still survived at this point but a sad and stark reminder was given when Burt Fulgoni passed away before he could be visited. Their travels have taken Jack and Martin to Grimsby, Ipswich and Southampton to name a few. Each veteran was visited on several occasions as Jack built up his work and as you read this, he is now putting the finishing touches to the artworks.

The exhibition opens on the evening of Saturday 14th October with a private viewing for our museum members. This date is of great significance as it marks the 70th anniversary of Colonel Carne leading his men back from captivity and landing at Southampton. The following day we shall open the exhibition to the public during which time we hope to welcome all the Imjin veterans who are captured in Jacks work.

This is a fantastic opportunity for us all to pay our respects to the few remaining heroes of this generation. The exhibition runs for several months so we hope that you’ll have an opportunity to come and visit at some point.

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