Forces War Records is now distributing computer terminals that allow free, unlimited perusal of our archives by visitors to selected museums. On Thursday 30th October 2014 we travelled to The Keep Military Museum at Dorchester, Dorset to get the second of these installed.
Christopher Copson, the curator of the museum, was on hand to give Technical Director Phil Cooper and other members of the Forces War Records team a personal tour. The Keep holds a superb collection of objects from the history of the different regiments of Devon and Dorset, including Hitler's personal desk, which the Dorsetshire Regiment recovered from the Chancellery in Berlin at the end of World War Two, the Croix De Guerre awarded to the entire 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment for its gallant defence of Bois des Buttes on 27 May 1918, the first day of the Third Battle of the Aisne, as well as tributes to soldiers of note, including Private Samuel Vickery of the Dorsets, awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour at Dargai Heights, India, on 20th October 1897. All of these items, spanning 300 years, are housed in the stunning gatehouse erected in 1879 to guard the entrance to the Depot Barracks of the Dorsetshire Regiment and the County Armoury.
Forces War Records specialises in military genealogy, and our archives hold the records of over six million people who have served in the armed forces, ranging from the time of the Napoleonic Wars to the end of the Second World War. As well as these collections - many of which, such as the Men of Trafalgar Medal Roll or the Jewry Book of Honour 1922, have been exclusively transcribed for our site – we offer a Historic Documents library of over 2,000 publications, including original war diaries, newspapers, journals, periodicals and much more. All of these can now be accessed completely free of charge at The Keep.
We also have a terminal installed at Leicester Museum, Leicestershire, and next week a third will go to The Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Forum, also in Dorset. Several other establishments will be getting them soon, and we will be sure to post updates on every new installation, so stand by for news of a terminal near you.