AN exhibition by The Rifles Museum will be on display in Wellington’s Pop-Up Shop next week, leading up to the regiment receiving the ‘Freedom of Wellington’.

The exhibition will run from Monday, June 12 until Saturday, June 17, when The Rifles will march through the town and be presented by the town council with a ‘Freedom Scroll’.

It tells the story of The Rifles regiment from its formation in 2007 to the present day.

The Rifles’ historic and current connections to Somerset, and the traditions and ethos of the regiment will also be covered.

There will be a collection of objects relating to The Rifles, such as a modern British Army ration kit, an Afghan (Dari) language booklet, and a manual on battlefield casualty drills.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to handle and try on pieces of military uniform and kit, and pick up handouts explaining elements of the history and character of The Rifles - for example, why ‘Serjeant’ is spelt with a ‘J’ in The Rifles and why Riflemen have swords, not bayonets.

Colouring activities and stickers will also be available for younger visitors.

The Rifles Museum is located in Peninsula Barracks, Winchester, Hampshire, and covers the history of the British Army’s largest infantry regiment, from formation through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to more recent operations.

It also tells the story of life in The Rifles, including training, sport, art, and more.

A remembrance space in the museum is dedicated to all Riflemen who have been killed in action since 2007.

The museum shares a building with the Royal Green Jackets Museum, which covers one of the four forming regiments of The Rifles and its antecedent regiments.

 4th Battalion The Rifles, march onto the parade square to receive medals from Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall

Today Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall in her capacity as Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion The Rifles, was guest of honour at a parade in which she presented operational service medals to soldiers who have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. 

The parade took place on the parade square at the battalionÕs home base, Normandy Barracks in Aldershot on Wednesday 1st May. There was a total of 80 medals presented to 65 members of the battalion who have recently served on Operation: TORAL, in and around the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif and SHADER in Iraq. There were several Long Service and Good Conduct medals presented as well as a QueenÕs Commendation for Valuable Service.

Corporal Ben Beale/ MoD Crown
4th Battalion The Rifles, medals parade in Aldershot. (Corporal Ben Beale )

Both museums are part of The Rifles Museums Network, which includes museums and collections spread across the country.

In the Westcountry, these include Bodmin Keep - Cornwall's Army Museum, Somerset Military Museum (Taunton), Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum (Gloucester), The Keep Military Museum (Dorchester), and The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum (Salisbury).

A key battle honour of The Rifles, one of the 34 displayed on the regiment’s belt badge, was the Battle of Waterloo (1815), which saw Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, lead his coalition army to victory over the French forces of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

Wellington’s army included five antecedent regiments of The Rifles, the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot, 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot, 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry), 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry), and 95th (Rifles) Regiment of Foot.

A sixth antecedent, the 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, was operating close by in support.

A handout ‘Wellington and Waterloo’ will be available in the Pop-Up Shop, in Fore Street, for anybody who wants to know more about actions of The Rifles antecedent regiments at Waterloo.

The Pop-Up Shop exhibition will be installed and staffed by The Rifles Museum’s assistant curator James Fenton, and volunteers from the Wellington community.

It will be held with support from members of Wellington Museum.