Thursday 14 November 2014 Regimental Museum wins Heritage Lottery Fund support for Battle of Waterloo Bicentenary Exhibition


The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum in Romsey Road, Winchester, has been awarded a £100,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to part-fund an exciting new exhibition marking the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015. The museum will contribute a similar amount of money to the project, which includes developing a substantial learning space for school and group visits and an events programme.

Commenting on the award, Sir Christopher Wallace, Chairman of the Museum, said: ‘Our aim is to create an exhibition that explains in terms that everyone, especially younger visitors, understands, what happened at Waterloo on 18 June 1815 and why the outcome was so important and a defining moment in British and European history that still resonates today. This grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund is indicative of their support for the project and is hugely welcome in helping us to achieve our aim. I am absolutely delighted that we have received it.’

The exhibition will open on 25 March 2015. The project plan involves replacing old displays with new and includes conservation of the museum’s huge and very popular 24.5 square metres diorama of the Waterloo battlefield with its 21,500 model soldiers and 9,000 horses. State-of-the-art technology and audio visual aids will be widely used to help bring the battle to life and to tell the story of those present, including two antecedent regiments of The Royal Green Jackets, the 52nd Light Infantry and the 95th Rifles.

The museum is already working with students from Winchester University’s teacher training, media communications and drama departments to identify the best ways to engage and excite the young about Waterloo. The museum will also be seeking ideas on the content of the exhibition from community groups in and around Winchester, and, in consultation with Hampshire County’s History Adviser, will be providing teachers with relevant material for use in schools.

Remarking on the Heritage Lottery Fund award, local MP Steve Brine said: ‘I’m really delighted to hear this news, not least as I supported the bid for funding. The museum can be justifiably proud of receiving a grant. I wish them every success as they head towards completion of the exhibition in 2015.’

Stuart McLeod, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: ‘It’s so important that HLF grants help people, especially young people, learn more about and better understand defining moments in British history like the Battle of Waterloo. In the run-up to the centenary of the battle in 2015, this timely project will introduce a whole new audience to an event that changed this country and Europe forever.’

For the Record:

The RGJ Regimental Association Committee including Branch representatives were briefed about the aim and scope of the museum’s Battle of Waterloo Bicentenary Exhibition at a meeting held in Winchester on 25 October 2013. The scale of the project requires the museum to raise £100,000 to match the sum awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. A major appeal will be launched in January. More information will be included in the E-Zine due to be published on 15 December 2013.