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Dorset at War

We are delighted to announce the opening of a new gallery portraying the military history of Dorchester and the County of Dorset through history. Concentrating on the human dimension, the gallery will tell a number of personal stories of Dorset soldiers and their families.

Among these stories are the experience and sacrifice of three Dorset soldiers during the catastrophic events of the First World War.

  • Horace Collier, a Dorset Regiment soldier from Cerne Abbas killed in the first weeks of the war, leaving behind a sweetheart, Birdie Amey.
  • “Skip” Wheller, a poet, musician and true Dorchester character, who somehow survived the horrors of Mesopotamia with humour intact.
  • Reuben Hansford, a young Dorset Yeoman killed on Gallipoli, who left behind an extraordinary personal archive.

The unique objects to feature in the new gallery will include:

  • The Dorset ARP Bomb Map, showing the location of every bomb dropped on Dorset in World War II.
  • An Operations Board from RAF Warmwell, showing the ops flown from there by Westland Whirlwind fighter-bombers, attacking targets in Occupied France.
  • The Captain’s pennant flown from the flag bridge of HMS Dorsetshire when she sank with her torpedoes the German pocket battleship Bismarck.

The exhibition was officially opened at 11:30 on Friday 7th July 2017 by John Young, MC, JP, DL, High Sherriff of Dorset, and open to the public from Saturday 8th July 2017.

For further information contact the museum: 01305 264 066