Royal Marines Museum
The Royal Marines Museum is located in Eastney ( Portsmouth), England, and is open to the public every day of the week throughout the year apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. A registered charity, it is also a designated museum under the terms of the National Heritage Act 1983 and an executive non-departmental public body by virtue of receiving Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Defence. Established in October 1958, the Museum represents a complete history of the Royal Marines from their beginnings in 1664 through to the present day. Highlights of the Museum include the Medal Room, with over 8000 medals on show (including all 10 Victoria Crosses awarded to the Corps) and, as of June 2008, The Making of the Royal Marines Commando exhibition, a major display highlighting the demands of the 32-week training course undertaken by all Royal Marines recruits. In September 2008, the Museum successfully purchased a rare medal for £41,000 (thanks to a contribution of £28,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund); the Naval General Service Medal with Trafalgar clasp was awarded to Lt Lewis Buckle Reeve who, following serious injury at the Battle of Trafalgar, was laid next to the mortally-wounded Nelson on board HMS Victory. This medal is now on show alongside Lt Reeve's Muster List of Royal Marines on-board HMS Victory at Trafalgar. On the 28th of October 2008 - The Museum's 50th birthday - the Royal Marines Museum won the Best Small Visitor Attraction of the Year award from Tourism South East, recognising its excellence, both in terms of exhibitions and the quality of the customer service provided. March 2009 saw the launch of the Special Exhibitions Gallery - an area dedicated to a rolling programme of Special Exhibitions highlighting a broad range of subjects to a variety of audiences. The first exhibition was entitled Return to Helmand: The Royal Marines in Afghanistan and opened by Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Garry Robison. . The second - running from April to October 2010 - is entitled Griff - Thinker, Painter, Forger, Spy? and celebrates the memorable life of Captain Guy Griffiths, a Royal Marine pilot.