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Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum gets Royal seal of approval

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 30, 2014

By Matt Discombe

  • The Duke of Gloucester

  • Attendees at Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum's official opening

  • Drum display

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A Royal seal of approval was given to the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum on Friday evening for it's official relaunch.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester had a tour of the revamped museum and officially reopened it in front of assembled veterans and currently serving military personnel.

It has taken five and half months to refurbish the museum which now has a refreshed layout, new artefacts and and interactive educational displays.

In his speech, Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester and cousin to The Queen said: "It's a great pleasure to see the museum refurbished and in a very central position in the Docks to remind the local community what their predecessors and ancestors achieved.

"It's important to have a sense of history and know what people did and what they sacrificed. We have many reasons to be thankful to the soldiers of Gloucestershire."

A £500,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund funded the revamp, which saw the museum completely stripped out last November.

The museum now aims to give visitors a timeline through Gloucestershire's involvement in the First World War through interactive educational tools and refreshed displays.

Lavinia Drake, manager of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, said: "The museum is a million times better than it was and with it's fresh look we can appeal to a wider audience.

"The museum aims to appeal to three types of visitor. Firstly to the people who want to browse and spend half an hour here, secondly to visitors who are more interested and will look around for an hour, and thirdly to people who are seriously into their military history who can spend hours here."

Gloucester Mayor Chris Chatterton, City Council Leader Paul James and Gloucester MP Richard Graham were on hand to meet the Royal couple before their tour.

Also in attendance were representatives from The Rifles, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, and Gloucester cadets.

Gloucester Mayor Chris Chatterton, who has been a trustee of the museum since November, said: "Gloucestershire's military history is something that everyone should know about. It's important to remember the incredible contribution made by Gloucestershire in the First World War.

"These new displays give visitors a very clear timeline of what happened not just with the development of the regiment but with the development of the country."

Richard Graham MP said: "This is a celebration of the regeneration of Gloucestershire's military heritage. It's important to celebrate the regiments and bring together people from around the county and hopefully share the museum with visitors too."

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