Sunday, 25 September 2016

I have been to ... the Household Cavalry Museum, Whitehall

After leaving the main Horse Guards building, Sue and I walked the very short distance to the Household Cavalry Museum. The entrance is located on the Horse Guards Parade side of the building, near to a statue of Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley.

The rooms used to house the museum were originally part of the stables, and the floor is still cobbled in places.


The first exhibit tells the story of the Horse Guards building ...


... and is followed by one that explains the role played by the Household Cavalry in protecting the Queen.


A selection of the ceremonial uniforms used by the current Household Cavalry regiments is then displayed.




Visitors then pass into a section of the museum that had been part of the stable's stalls, and one can still see the working end of the stables through a large frosted glass panel.


Examples of the uniforms worn by the troopers and the tack used on the horses are on display in this section of the museum.




The final part of the museum covers the history of the regiments that make up the Household Cavalry.


It starts with the English Civil War ...


and then moves on to the Napoleonic Wars.







The nineteenth century saw the evolution of the modern ceremonial uniform worn by the Household Cavalry.




In the centre of this part of the display is a magnificent piece of regimental silver known as the Zetland Trophy. It was made in 1874 and represents the role played by the Blues at the Battle of Waterloo. It is topped by the figure of Mars, the god of war.


There are also several exhibits that relate to Colonel Frederick Gustavus Burnaby, who was killed at the Battle of Abu Klea, including items of clothing that he wore whilst colonel of the Royal Horse Guards or Blues.



Just opposite is a tableau depicting the capture of the Eagle and Colour of the French 105th Regiment of the Line during the Battle of Waterloo ...


... and beneath it is the Earl of Uxbridge's wooden leg, which he had to wear after his leg was shot off during the closing stages of the battle. (William Paget was the son of Henry Paget, 1st Earl of Uxbridge. He commanded the British cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo and later became Field Marshal Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey. According to anecdote he was very close to Wellington when his leg was hit by a cannon ball, and exclaimed, 'By God, sir, I've lost my leg!' — to which Wellington said to have replied, 'By God, sir, so you have!'.)


The modern role of the Household Cavalry is not ignored, ...


... and the medals awarded to one member of the regiment shows how active they have been in recent years.



Almost the last item on show in the museum is a collection of Britains 54mm figures. They depict the Household Cavalry (both mounted and dismounted) as well as representatives of the Foot Guards.


If you are in the Westminster area of London and have an hour to spare, I would recommend a visit to this excellent small military museum.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Steve-the-Wargamer,

      I don't think that you will be disappointed!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Outstanding displays. One day, I should visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      If you are in that part of London and have an hour or so to spare, then try to visit the museum if you can.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Bob,

    Thankyou for showing us the exhibits at the museum- appreciate it...we will not be returning to England again- as our April-May 2015 journey was my last...sad in a way - as I really enjoyed the UK, it's sights and the people. Best Wishes. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev,

      Travelling that distance is wearing when one is young, but as one gets older, long distance travel can be terrible. That is why my wife and I travel by ship nowadays. We have time to adjust to the changes and there is little risk of anything like 'jet lag'.

      The only problem is that it takes a devil of a time to get anywhere, which is why our travels have been confined to Europe, the Mediterranean, North America, and the Caribbean.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I think we might have to add that to our list next time we're in London.

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    Replies
    1. Conrad Kinch,

      If you are visiting the Westminster area, then a visit to the Household Cavalry Museum and the Guards Museum are a 'must see' ... but be warned, there used to be a toy soldier shop near the latter.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Thanks for this. Yesterday we were at the Household Cavalry Barracks but had no time to see the museum. We were taken to see the stables, the forge and the saddlery before some of my re-enactment friends took a riding assessment test on the cavalry's horses.
    We gave them a presentation on 17th century cavalry and the battle of Roundway Down, preparatory to a joint battlefield ride with the Life Guards tomorrow. No pictures allowed from yesterday's visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whiskers,

      Wow! What a wonderful visit that must have been! I am very, very envious.

      It's nice to know that the regiment takes a practical interest in the history of the British cavalry. I hope that your battlefield ride goes well.

      All the best,

      Bob

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