This is one of a series of more detailed reviews about the Manx Museum and describes the Military gallery. This is the newest gallery in the museum and was opened in 2018 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice. It commemorates the men, women and children involved in conflicts from the 1700s to the present day. Informative labels give details of all the display items. As well as examples of military uniforms there are also more homely artefacts like the lock of hair and pressed flower sent by a young girl to her father serving in France during World War 1. There are military medals as well as a copy of a Bible found on the battlefield at Cambrai by a Manx Soldier and a ration biscuit.
There is information about the Internment camps on the Isle of Man as well as the body of a dead frog which was found burned to death after a German incendiary set fire to some heather and described as the “first victim of the Luftwaffe”.
The museum is justifiably proud of its uniform of Lt Caesar Bacon of the 23rd Light Dragoons which was worn at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. This is the oldest known light cavalry uniform in the British Isles. He was wounded twice during the campaign and his medal is the only known example awarded to a Max soldier.
There are examples of the bright red uniform worn by British Soldiers in the C19th which predated the now common Khaki uniforms of the First World War and later.
I’m not normally a great one for military museums but found this one fascinating. The uniform displays were particularly impressive and there was a lot of information aimed at a wide audience from the military enthusiast to some one like me! I spent a lot longer in this gallery than I expected. There was also a very enthusiastic member of staff who had a wealth of stories about the different exhibits.