Monday, August 10, 2015

Gordon Highlanders Museum

The insignia of the Gordon Highlanders.
We almost didn't go to the  Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen, but one day it was on the way home, so.....  It was a very pleasant surprise.  The visit starts with a video, then you can tour the museum on your one or with a guide.  We took the guide, and spent an enjoyable 45 minutes with Frank, a retired Air Force officer, who is now one of 150 volunteers at the museum.

One member's medals, including the Victoria Cross.
The man in the soft beret carrying only a walking stick is the officer in charge, the inlisted men wore helmets and carried rifles. This was during WWI.
The Gordon Highlanders started in 1794 as the 92nd Regiment of Foot, in 1881 they became the Gordon Highlanders until being disbanded in 1994.  Now they are joined with the other Highlander Regiments to be the Queens Highlanders.  Members of the unit have been awarded 19 Victoria Crosses, 11 of which are displayed at the museum.

These beautiful powder horns were not for black powder, but for snuf!

The dining room may be rented.

At the start of WWII, the British troops were evacuated from Dunkirk.  As they retreated, one of the drummer boys hid his drum in a hedgerow, figuring it wasn't a good thing to be caught with.  A local farmer saw him hide it and later retrieved and hid it under his barn.  After the war, the family found it again, moving it to their attic.  In the 1980's they returned it to the Gordon's where it is now in the museum.

 The returned drum.
Visiting this museum really brought home how British history is so overwhelmingly combined with war. This unit was in constant battles almost from the beginning until being disbanded; some more successful than others.  In a way, I found it rather sad.

The piper was an important part of the unit, playing to encourage the unit forward.  This was in Afghanistan when they were told the hill must be taken.

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