Your Councillors


QUEEN’S OWN ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENTAL MUSEUM TRUST

16 JANUARY 2018

 

ANNUAL REPORT

 

Final Decision-Maker

Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum Trust

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Dawn Hudd, Head of Regeneration and Economic Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Victoria Barlow, Museums Director

Samantha Harris, Collections Manager

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

The report shows the work that has been completed by museum staff on behalf of Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust during 2017. The year has seen a number of events and activities related to the QORWKR museum including use of the collections by the Learning Service, increased presence on social media and the continued upgrading of collections information on our Adlib system. A list of donated objects is also included.

 

 

This report makes the following recommendation to this Committee:

That the annual report be noted.

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

QOWKRMT

16/01/18



ANNUAL REPORT

 

1.         INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

This report provides the annual report on work of Maidstone Museums in the provision of services to the QOWKR Museum.

 

Learning

 

The Learning Team has run several workshops based on WW1 and WW2 related to artefacts and history of the QORWK regiment throughout 2017. In addition, continuing from last year, the museum ran a series of WW1 themed Arts Awards days for schools (and families) also where children investigated different elements of WW1 looked at different pieces of art linked to the war and found out about soldiers from the regiment.

 

In total 338 school children have engaged specifically with the collection and gallery in formal learning activities since January 2017:

·         87 children for WWI workshops/WWI Arts Awards,

·         77 children for the WWII workshop.

·         174 for other Arts Awards (including the uniforms and medal design etc)

·         (11 children with parents for family Arts Award day, not with schools)

 

Publicity

 

Further to suggestions in the January 2017 committee meeting, there has been increased social media from the museum in 2017 relating to the QORWK, including posts regarding a visit by the Sikh Heritage Group to view the Sutlej gun, WW1 centenaries of action in which QORWK were involved such as Passchendaele, military photos/archive, and most notably the surrender of Jerusalem by the Ottomans to the British Forces in December 1917. The museum has lent a number of items relating to it, such as the Keys to Jerusalem, to the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem for a temporary exhibition. This has created interest amongst regimental and religious groups, and is publicizing the collection internationally. The most recent post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram:

 

This week saw the centenary of Jerusalem’s Ottoman surrender to British Troops on 11th December 1917 during the First World War.

 

The 2/20th London Regiment (linked to The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment) were at the surrender, and two cooks are said to have unofficially received the ceremonial keys on 9th December 1917 from Jerusalem dignitaries, including the mayor, priests, rabbis and imams, bearing the keys of the city and a white flag.  General Sir Edmund Allenby walked into Jerusalem following the official surrender on 11 December 1917. The keys from the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum are currently on temporary loan to an exhibition at the Tower of David Museum, Jerusalem.

 

Thanks to Julian Munby for his photo from the exhibition in Jerusalem, with the keys (the 2 on the left).

 

 

Acquisitions

 

During the period Jan 1 – Dec 31st 2017, 23 items have been accessioned and added to the QORWK collection, please see list below. No items have been bought for the collection, all items are by donation.

 

Object number

Object name

Title

Description

MNERM 2017.1708.1

Medal

 British War Medal 1914-1920

British War Medal 1914-20 awarded to Private A L Summers, no 29860, of the Royal West Kent Regiment. (Obverse) the uncrowned left facing profile of King George V by Sir Bertram Mackennal.  (Reverse) St. George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the Central Powers and a skull and cross-bones.

MNERM 2017.1708.2

Medal

 Victory Medal 1914-1919

Victory Medal 1914 – 1919 awarded to Private A L Summers, number 29860, of the Royal West Kent Regiment. (Obverse) the standing figure of Victory holding a palm branch in her right hand and stretching out her left hand. (Reverse) a laurel wreath containing a four line inscription “The Great War for Civilisation 1914-1919.” 

MNERM 2017.1709

Card

Christmas card Officer 97th, 1824

 A Christmas card showing an officer of the 97th, 1824 in the bottom right hand corner on a plain white background.  Their logo and motto of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent regiment is printed in pale blue in the top left hand corner and a dark and light blue ribbon is decorates the side.  The card is written by ‘John’, 2nd Battalion The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, who is stationed Aldershot.  The card is addressed “to all at Sycamores Bless them”, but the card is not dated.  The producer of the card was W M May and Co of Aldershot.

MNERM 2017.1710

Report

Report on Activities of “A” Coy From May 22nd 1940 at Oudenarde – June 2nd 1940

 A report written by Private William Walter Flower on the activities of A company, Royal West Kent Regiment, from May 22nd 1940 at Oudenarde to June 2nd 1940 at Dunkirk.  The report consists of ten loose leaf handwritten pages with dates, locations, names and activities for the period May to June 1940.

MNERM 2017.1711

Pay book

 Soldiers’ Service and Pay Book,  Army book 64

A Soldiers’ Service and pay Book (Army Book 64) belonging to Frank William Davies, 6339941, who enlisted in London on the 10th of August 1926.

MNERM 2017.1712.1

Diary

Diary of  Captain Donald John Cropper

A diary written in an exercise book with a dark brown cover. The excessive book contains the handwritten account of Captain Donald John Cropper of his experiences on Leros, serving with the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment in November 1943. 

MNERM 2017.1712.2

Postcard

Nine soldiers at Leros

A postcard included in an exercise book with a dark brown cover with three birds.  The excessive book contains the handwritten account of Captain Donald John Cropper of his experiences on Leros, serving with the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment in November 1943. 

MNERM 2017.1713

Sash

 

 A red worsted colour sergeant’s sash with a fringe worn by Colour Sergeant William Henry Wilson, 97 Regiment of Foot, 1864 -1888. 

MNERM 2017.1714.1

Photograph

Fort Manoel Malta 1902

 A photograph taken in 1902 at Fort Manoel, Malta.  It is an informal group of Royal West Kent Regiment members arranged in three rows, with one man standing right at the back.  Charles Albert Cordeaux (6164) is shown on the second left in the first row.

MNERM 2017.1714.2

Photograph

1902 Regimental photo Malta

A regimental photo of members of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment taken in Malta in 1902.  Charles Albert Cordeaux (6164) is the fifth person from the right four rows back.  The photo is staged outdoors on a structure with eight rows of servicemen arranged in tiers.  The photograph was taken by J Mallia & Co Photographers, The Grand Studio, Valetta, Malta.

MNERM 2017.1714.3

Photograph

Signallers 1st BN. "The Queen's Own" Royal West Kent Regiment Malta 1906

A regimental photograph of Signallers 1st BN. "The Queen's Own" Royal West Kent Regiment Malta 1906.  A full list of names is given on the mount below the photograph.  Charles Albert Cordeaux (6164) is depicted on the first right in the front row of five rows.  The photograph was taken by the Grand Studio, Malta.

MNERM 2017.1714.4

Photograph

Instructors' Course, Aldershot 1907

A formal regimental group photograph taken in 1907 of the Army Signalling school depicting participants in the Instructors' Course at Aldershot in 1907.  Charles Albert Cordeaux (6164) is shown as the first person on the right in the back row. 

MNERM 2017.1714.5

Photograph

Signallers Royal West Kent Regiment, Shaft Barracks Dover 1908

A formal regimental group photograph taken in 1908 the Signallers from the Royal West Kent Regiment at Shaft Barracks, Dover. 

MNERM 2017.1714.6

Photograph

Sergeants Mess, Royal West Kent Regiment, Dover 1909, Old Veterans reunion, New Colours

A formal regimental group photograph taken in 1909 in Dover.  The photograph shows the old veterans of the regiment in civilian clothes at their reunion in 1909 under the new colours. 

MNERM 2017.1714.7

Photograph

Presentation of New Colours to the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Dover 6 August 1909

Presentation of New Colours to the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Dover 6 August 1909.  A photograph showing the parade with dignitaries in the centre and civilian audience.

MNERM 2017.1714.7.a

Postcard

Presentation of New Colours to the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Dover 6 August 1909

Presentation of New Colours to the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Dover 6 August 1909.  A photograph showing the parade with dignitaries in the centre and civilian audience. Two smaller images arranged above show the new colours.

MNERM 2017.1714.8

Postcard

1912 'C' Coy Football team in Dublin

A formal group portrait of Queen's Own Royal West Kent 'C' Coy's Football team in their kit taken in Dublin in 1912. The football team is photographed outside with the players arranged in three rows against the backdrop of a house.

MNERM 2017.1714.9

Discharge papers

 

The discharge certificate, army form D. 426, of 6164 Sergeant (Charles) Albert Cordeaux of the Royal West Kent Regiment.

MNERM 2017.1715.1

Photograph

Valerie Eileen Sturdy

A framed photograph of Valerie Eileen Sturdy in full ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) uniform circa 1945.  The photograph is framed in a Royal West Kent Frame. 

MNERM 2017.1715.2

Photograph

Valerie Eileen Sturdy

A photograph of Valerie Eileen Sturdy in a cardboard frame.  The photograph is taken of Valerie Sturdy in her later years and complements a photograph of her in full ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) uniform circa 1945.

MNERM 2017.1715.3

Photograph

"A" Coy West Kent Sub-district Group ATS 1945

A photograph of A Coy West Kent Sub-district group ATS taken in 1945.  Valerie Eileen Sturdy served in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) and appear in this photo along with her good friend Joan Mary Sullivan (nee West).

MNERM 2017.1715.4

Photograph

 

Eighteen photographs of women who served with Valerie Eileen Sturdy in "A " Coy West Kent Sub-district group ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) in 1945.

MNERM 2017.1716

Booklet

Sergeant Saddington M.M. Passchendaele Hero

A booklet written and published by George H. Saddington about the author’s grandfather, Sergeant Saddington M.M. who fought and died during the First World War.

 

Maidstone Museums’ Collections Development Panel, has received a high number of offered donations this year, including QORWK items, and with representatives from across the museums departments meeting quarterly to assess and decide on items offered for donation, a more strategic and sustainable approach is being undertaken to acquisitions. As such a number of items offered to the QORWK were not accepted, primarily because they are already duplicated within the collection or did not fit the collecting policy.

 

Gallery & Exhibitions

 

No major redisplay work has been undertaken in the permanent gallery in 2017. A number of the medal drawers have developed faults over time, but these have been fixed by the interpretation team in 2017 to ensure the security of artefacts and safety of visitors.

 

A digital timeline was developed during last year’s ‘Coming Home’ exhibition, detailing WW1 events on the Home Front, Western Front, and involving the QORWK Regiment during WW1. This remains on the museum website, being viewable for the length of the WW1 commemorations here: http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/world-war-one-exhibition-timeline/ . It proves a useful resource for visitors and school groups.

 

Activities

 

Café Culture sessions have increased in popularity: The informal group, meeting once a month, is open to over 65s and a legacy of the award winning and innovative ‘Museums on Prescription’ programme run between UCL and Canterbury Christchurch University. It demonstrated the health and wellbeing impact of museums on socially isolated older people. During this year the Collections and Learning Teams at Maidstone Museums held a WW1/QORWK regiment themed session with a talk by the Regimental volunteers, Steve Finnis. The themes for these sessions change from month to month, so it is likely that the regiment and collection will feature in future sessions also.

 

Documentation

 

Cataloguing of the collections continues. Volunteer, Steve Finnis continues to work on the QORWK photographic collection. The information is in the process of being updated digitally by staff on the existing access database and will be uploaded to Adlib (the new Collections Management System), longer term as part of the Human History Collection digital audit by the end of 2018. This process will enable research and additional information to be added to increase our understanding of the collection, as well as making the items more usable and accessible going forward.

 

Conservation/Collections Care

 

No new collections care issues have been raised in 2017 – this will be reviewed in line with display needs and budget.

 

Staffing

 

In 2017 the Collections Officer post has been re-recruited with Pernille Richards and the Collections Officer post (Part Time) by Paris Linkin.

2.            AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

The Committee is asked to note the annual report.

 

 

3.            RISK MANAGEMENT

 

This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.

 

 

4.        CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities.  However, they will support the Council’s overall achievement of its aims as set out in section 3

 

Victoria Barlow

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk section

Victoria Barlow

Financial

The proposals set out in the recommendation are all within already approved budgetary headings and so need no new funding for implementation.

Paul Holland, Senior Finance Manager (Client)

Staffing

We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.

Victoria Barlow

Legal

Acting on the recommendations is within the Council’s powers as set out in the constitution of the QORWKRMT

 

 Keith Trowell, Interim Team Leader (Corporate Governance)

Privacy and Data Protection

The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an privacy and data protection impact assessment

 

[Legal Team]

Equalities

The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment

Equalities and Corporate Policy Officer

Crime and Disorder

The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an impact assessment

Victoria Barlow

Procurement

No procurement is required

[Head of Service & Section 151 Officer]

 

 

 

 

 

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