The Fusilier Museum tells the story of a British infantry regiment, raised at the Tower of London in 1685.

The museum follows the Regiment from its formation to the present day. The story is told through the fascinating personal experiences of individual Officers and Soldiers and draws on the museum’s rich archive of war diaries and personal letters as well as its diverse collection.

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Voices from the Front: A Personal Account of the Great War

I am delighted to share with you the latest exhibition from The Fusilier Museum London. Curated by a group of…

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The beautiful new galleries at The Fusilier Museum, unveiled to the public on April 4th 2011 represent a significant fundraising effort. But they are only the beginning of the story.

Fundraising is ongoing for Fusilier Engage! which will engage local people with the museum for the first time. We have nearly reached our goal of £830,000 and you can help us reach our target.

The Fusilier Museum, RRF, HM Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

Visit us

OPEN DAILY

FREE with entry to the Tower of London

The Fusilier Museum is based in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Headquarters at HM Tower of London.


Read more information on visiting the Tower of London.

Fusiliers

Fusiliers and their families wishing to visit the museum can book through the Area Regimental Secretary’s office, contact: Major (Retd) Colin Bowes-Crick, T. 0203 166 6911

Researchers

Researchers wishing to use the museum’s archive should first view the museum’s research page.

School Parties

Historic Royal Palaces deliver sessions for schools and colleges at The Fusilier Museum. If you are interested in bringing a group or want to find out more, please contact HRP Education Department on 0203 166 6654

Group Visits

The Fusilier Museum can offer guided tours of the galleries for community and special interest groups. For more information and bookings contact; Stephanie Killingbeck, Museum Officer e. Stephanie@fusiliermuseumlondon.org

Tower Hamlets Residents

Visit The Fusilier Museum for £1 with your Idea Store Card or Leisure Services Card.

Access and Impairments

The Fusilier Museum currently has no access for wheelchair users. To talk about other requirements please phone 0203 166 6912

Collection

Browse through the highlights

The Fusilier Museum’s collection was established in 1962  Like many Regimental Museums the collection was based on existing Regimental property.

The collection is rich in uniforms, flags, silver and insignia which have help to distinguish the Regiment and create a unique Regimental identity throughout history.

The need and desire of the Regiment to keep records has resulted in the museum having a wonderful archive of photographs, personal letters and war diaries.

Souvenirs, taken from vanquished enemies or bought from exotic campaign locations, are another strength.

The museum is very proud of its medal collection which includes 12 of the 20 Royal Fusilier Victoria Crosses.

The collection also contains a large number of social history objects which refuse to be categorised but which tell the stories of the individual Fusiliers who make up the Regiment’s history.

 

  • Victoria Cross

    The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration.

    It is awarded ‘for valour’ in the face of the enemy. It was introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria who wanted to honour acts of conspicuous bravery by soldiers in the Crimean War.

    The museum holds 12 Royal Fusilier VCs and tells their winners stories.

  • Eagle Standard of the 82nd Regiment of the French Line, captured by the Royal Fusiliers in 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars.

    Standards play a similar role to the ‘colours’ of the Royal Fusiliers.  Both were traditionally carried into battle as a rallying point for troops.  Both have a great symbolic significance and are ferociously guarded.

    In 1809, the Royal Fusiliers joined an army sent to capture the French colony of Martinique.  After a difficult fight, the French were besieged.  Four days later they surrendered and three Eagle Standards were captured by the British.  The Royal Fusiliers were awarded this standard as a reward for their accomplishments in the battle.

  • Silver wine cooler, presented to the Regiment by King William IV, 1836.

    This wine cooler was given to the Royal Fusiliers in 1836, when the Regiment was stationed at Winchester Barracks.  King William IV frequently inspected the regiment and ordered their service records be read to him.  He also decreed that the Royal Fusiliers may ignore the Loyal Toast traditionally given to the sovereign, because their loyalty was beyond question.

    From its beginnings, the Regiment has had a royal connection.  In 1685, King James II coined the name, Our Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.  It was the first time a regiment had been granted the title ‘Royal’.  In 1789, HRH Edward Duke of Kent was appointed colonel of the regiment and the Duke of Kent still holds the ceremonial title of Colonel-in-Chief today.

  • An iron boot used to uncover a defaulter in the Regiment, copied from the original by J. Clitherow  Col. 5th Battalion

    An iron boot was applied to the leg of R. Reginauld, who was suspected of aggravating a wound in order to avoid duties.  After 12 days in the boot, the wound healed. Reginauld’s deceit was uncovered and he was sentenced to 500 lashes by Regimental Court Martial.

    Life in the 18th and 19th century army was tough.  Men would go to great lengths to avoid the most brutal aspects of army life.  Plundering, absence and desertion were common, despite harsh punishments for those who were caught.  The back of the boot is painted with the words ‘A Cure’.

  • Tibetan Soapstone Figure

    This soapstone figure was bought back from the 1904 Tibet expedition by a Royal Fusilier.  The campaign was undertaken amidst British fears of the expansion of Russian influence in Central Asia; a rivalry that became known as the Great Game.  The Fusiliers spent over a month camping at the city of Lhasa whilst British officials negotiated with the Tibetan Dalai Lama, giving them plenty of time to collect souvenirs.  ’The vendors … discovered our childish mania for curios, and brought with them each morning such trinkets as would attract our fancy.’

  • Royal Fusilier Sweetheart Badge, 1914-1918

    Sweetheart badges were ornate copies of the military badge of a regiment.  They were worn by the mothers, sisters, wives and girlfriends of soldiers and officers away at war.  Popular during the First and Second World Wars these brooches vary from hallmarked silver and mother-of-pearl, to base metal and enamel.  Some soldiers who could not afford to buy these broaches converted official collar badges into ‘Sweethearts’ by soldering them onto a pin type fastening.

  • Colonel Shipley’s Musket Ball, 1854

    Colonel Shipley was shot in the leg whilst serving with the Royal Fusiliers in the Crimean War.  He wrote to his mother;  ”Hit at last, my dear Mamma, like a Woodcock in the thigh!  I am very comfortable in our Tent.  The Ball kindly came out on the other side.  I have preserved it, I hope to bring it home.”  Shipley later had the musket ball mounted as a souvenir!

  • Dress uniform and bearskin of King George V (1865-1936) Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Fusiliers, 1901-36.

    The Colonel-in-Chief is the ceremonial figurehead of the regiment.  Normally a member of the Royal Family, the Colonel-in-Chief does not have an operational role but is kept informed of the Regiment’s activities and provides a direct link between the Regiment and the Royal Family.

    George V became King in 1910.  During his reign he saw significant political change both at home and abroad with restriction of the power of the House of Lords, the first Labour government and the decline of the British Empire.  He was on the throne during the First World War and made several visits to address troops at the Western Front.  In 1917 anti-German feeling led him to abandon the family name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in favour of the more British, Windsor.  In 1932, he was the first monarch to give the Christmas speech.

    Today, the Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment is Field Marshal HRH Edward Duke of Kent the grandson of King George V.

Help us

Volunteer

The Fusilier Museum has a growing volunteer team helping with all aspects of the museum's work. Volunteers bring valuable skills, energy and enthusiasm to the museum and let the museum do more.

E: Stephanie@fusiliermuseumlondon.org
T: 0203 166 6912

 

Who are our volunteers?

Our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have lots of different reasons for volunteering.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers help in almost all areas of the museum’s work.

Activities include:

  • Documentation
  • Collection research
  • Collection care
  • Family learning activities

There are also lots of one-off project opportunities at the museum which we advertise internally every three months via our volunteer newsletter.

What can we offer you?

  • Learn or develop new skills
  • Get to work in an awe inspiring environment
  • Get close up to an amazing collection of objects and see behind the scenes of a working Regimental HQ
  • Work with a friendly and sociable team
  • Reimbursement of volunteer travel expenses up to the value of £7 (payable against receipts)

When can I volunteer?

Most of our opportunities are Mon-Fri, 10.00-16.00pm. Some of our volunteers have regular shifts and come to the museum every week, or every fortnight; others just come when there is a project which is particularly relevant to them.

Can I do a work experience placement at museum?

The museum can take a limited number of school work experience placements from year 10 upwards. There are also opportunities for degree level and above students to undertake placements focussing on specific areas of the curatorial work.

* NB we will be recruiting participants for June/ July 2013 from January 2013*

How do I apply?

Email: stephanie@fusiliermuseumlondon.org

Or write: Volunteering, The Fusilier Museum London, RRF, Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

Include:
Your name
Contact details
Any relevant experience you think you may have.
What sort of opportunity you are looking for?
Why you want to volunteer?

Some people send a CV but if you do not have one just writing a quick note is fine!

What happens next?

We’re inbetween staff at the moment, so you may not get a reply immediately.  As soon as our new Museum Officer is in post, they will be back in touch.  We will ask you to come in for a visit and talk more about the options. All new volunteers have to provide some basic contact information, have a short induction and undergo a Tower of London security check but this can be done quite quickly if you are anxious to get started.

Donate

The beautiful new galleries at The Fusilier Museum, unveiled to the public on April 4th 2011 represent a significant fundraising effort. But they are only the beginning of the story.

Fundraising is ongoing for Fusilier Engage! which will engage local people with the museum for the first time. We have nearly reached our goal of £830,000 and you can help us reach our target.


Individual donors can donate by cheque or by BACS payment using the Individual Donations Form:

Gift Aid form (pdf)


Corporate Support, Trusts and Foundations should contact;

Major Colin Bowes-Crick

e. royalfusiliers@fsmail.net

T. 0203 166 6912.