The medals, awards and honours, include from the highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross, to the famous ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’ of the Great War. Medals have arrived at the museum by way of families donating them on behalf of their next of kin, to purchases of medals considered of outstanding significance to the Regiment, and those simply handed in by the general public. Among them are the medals awarded to the 37th Regiment in 1744 and also an Army Gold Medal 1810 for service in the Peninsular War.
There are sets from each of the campaigns in which the Regiment served and fought and medals that have several bars relating to the battles or engagements, one Queen’s South African Medal has seven bars for example. It can quickly be seen that each set has a story to tell, whether it is the Second China War Medal with the clasp Taku Forts next to the Victoria Cross both won by Pte Thomas Lane, the WW1 Military Cross and Distinguished Conduct Medal belonging to RSM John Palmer or Sgt Slade’s Military Medal from D Day on 6th June 1944. John Palmer incidentally was one of only four men in the Regiment to spend the entire First World War on the Western Front.
For later campaigns one has only to look at the medals of CSgt Mick Bardwell BEM, which shows his service from 1960 until the late 1980s, which include GSM 1962 with clasps for Borneo and Northern Ireland, a United Nations Cyprus and more.
Also included are Memorial Plaques given to the Next of Kin, of the servicemen who died in WW1, and on display are two for the brothers Sulman, both officers who were killed. There is also an example of the Elizabeth Cross which is now given to relatives of those killed in more recent conflicts.