Posted by: T.A.G. | 13/11/2016

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Military Museum, Winchester

During a recent weekend break, I visited the museum of The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) regiment in Winchester. The museum is excellent, being very well laid out and highly informative. The museum has a current operations section for the modern and recently amalgamated regiment nowadays titled The Rifles but its other galleries tell the story of the modern unit’s antecedent regiments: the 43rd  (Monmouthshire), 52nd (Oxfordshire), 60th (Royal American) and 95th (Rifles) Regiments of Foot as well as their successor units: the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the Rifle Brigade, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and the Royal Green Jackets.

This post is going to focus on the recently refurbished diorama of the Battle of Waterloo that forms the centre piece of the Napoleonic gallery. Laid out on 25 square metres of table, the diorama comprises over 30,000 20mm soldiers and horses at an approximate ratio of 1 figure to 9 real men and represents all of the key events of the battle rather than just a single moment.

Originally created over 50 years ago, it was recently restored,, reopening in time for the 200th anniversary of the battle. A son-et-lumiere show, narrated by Kate Adie, takes the museum’s visitors through the battle, highlighting step-by-step the key events and bringing the diorama to life in a way that conveys a lot of information in an engaging, entertaining and very impressive manner.

Perhaps the best thing about the diorama is that it is a three dimensional model of the battlefield as it was, which means that it shows the landscape before it was altered by the creation of the Lion Mound near the crossroads of the Brussels and Ohain roads. Having stood on the battlefield and ascended the Lion Mound, I was startled by how very different the battlefield looked in 1815.

The photos below show various parts of the diorama. Please accept my apologies for the poor quality of some images – using a new camera to take zoom pictures through glass in low light at high is my only excuse.

Grateful thanks to Mrs T.A.G. for use of her photos from the visit.

T.A.G.

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