Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

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Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum is a military museum located at Wolseley Barracks (the former CFB London) in London, Ontario, Canada, the historic home of the The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR).

History

Although original architectural drawings of Wolseley Hall drafted in 1886 show space allocated to a museum, the museum in its current form was officially opened in 1983 during the royal visit of H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It is dedicated to the exploits of The Royal Canadian Regiment. Artifacts displayed in the museum cover the regiment's activities from the Yukon Gold Rush to their current work in Afghanistan.

Collection

Among the regimentally significant items on display is a scarf which is an exact replica of one hand knit by Queen Victoria during the Second Boer War (one of eight that she made). The original scarf presented to Private Richard Thompson of The RCR is on display in the Canadian War Museum. Four such scarves were presented to soldiers of the British Army, and four to soldiers of colonial forces (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa).

Other items of interest are a wooden cross from Flanders Fields, a recreation of a World War I trench and a street scene from the Italian Campaign. Outside the museum is a display of artillery and military vehicles, including a Universal Carrier, a 25 pounder and a Lynx reconnaissance vehicle.

One of the early highlights of the museum's collection was the Victoria Cross of Milton Fowler Gregg which was donated in 1979, but was stolen the following year and never recovered. It is currently on an Interpol watch list for stolen items and cannot legally be sold.

The museum also holds the medals of General Charles Foulkes, the man who, along with General Johannes Blaskowitz, signed the German capitulation agreement at the Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen (Netherlands) on May 6, 1945, effectively ending World War II in Europe.

Capital campaign

In 2007, The RCR Museum launched a Capital Campaign with the objective of raising $2.3 Million (Cdn) to expand the museum and upgrade infrastructure facilities installed in the 1983 reconstruction. The Honorary Chairman of the Capital Campaign is veteran Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent who served in The Royal Canadian Regiment for four years in the early 1950s.

The Capital Campaign received its first major government donation on 12 May 2007 when Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Deb Matthews, on behalf of the province of Ontario, presented a cheque for $240,000 (Cdn).

On 21 February 2008, the City of London, Ontario confirmed in their annual budget a contribution of $200,000 to The RCR Museum Capital Campaign.

Affiliations

The museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, OMMC and Virtual Museum of Canada.