Spotlight Exhibition Evening: The Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry commemoration of the charge at Agagia by Capt. Allan Wood (Rtd) and Capt. Colin Parr (Rtd) MBE

On Thursday 18 February,  7.00pm for 7.30pm an evening talk will be held at the Dorset County Museum to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the famous charge of the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry against a mixed Turkish and Senussi force in the Egyptian Western Desert.

Retired Capt. Allan Wood and Capt. Colin Parr MBE will discuss how the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry charge, routed the enemy and was a key element in preventing the Turks and their German allies from capturing the Suez canal; a vital link with India.

The Dorset Yeoman at Agagia, 26th February 1916, Lady Elizabeth Butler, 1917

The Dorset Yeoman at Agagia, 26th February 1916, Lady Elizabeth Butler, 1917 [Dorset County Council]

This special evening’s talk is in conjunction with the Museum’s current spotlight exhibition and the loaned painting from the Dorset County Council recording the gallantry of the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry that was painted by the greatest British late 19th/ early 20th century military artist, Lady Butler.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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New Exhibition: The Charge of the Dorset Yeomanry at Agagia, 26th February 1916

The Dorset Yeoman at Agagia, 26th February 1916, Lady Elizabeth Butler, 1917

The Dorset Yeoman at Agagia, 26th February 1916, Lady Butler, 1917                   [Dorset County Council]

Dorset County Museum and The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, in conjunction with the Dorset Yeomanry have assembled a small exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the famous charge of the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry against a mixed Turkish and Senussi force in the Egyptian Western Desert.

The charge, the last Regimental charge in battle by the British army, routed the enemy and was a key element in preventing the Turks and their German allies from capturing the Suez canal; a vital link with India.

The highlight of the display will be the painting on loan by the Dorset County Council recording the gallantry of the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry that was commissioned from the greatest, British, late 19th / early 20th century, military artist, Lady Butler. The painting was paid for by subscriptions from local people. After being exhibited in 1917 at the Royal Academy, it was displayed in most of the major towns across Dorset. Over 10,000 people paid 8d each to see the painting. It normally hangs in the Members’ Common Room at County Hall and this will be the first time for many decades that the people of Dorset will have easy access to view this painting with such county wide resonance.

A complementary display of military ephemera will be staged at The Keep Military Museum at the same time. Dorset County Museum and The Keep Military Museum are offering a joint ticket to see both displays with an individual ticket price saving of £1.50

  • The exhibition ‘The charge of the Dorset Yeomanry at Agagia, 26th February 1916′ on Friday 29th January 2016 to Saturday 7th January 2017

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Dorchester and the Great War

Leaving the Somme Trenches 1st or 6th Dorsets

Leaving the Somme Trenches 1st or 6th Dorsets © The Keep Military Museum 2014

Visitors to the Corn Exchange on Friday 8th August 2014 can step back in time to experience what life was like in Dorchester during the Great War.

This year marks the centenary of the beginning of World War One in which over 4,500 Dorset soldiers lost their lives.

The free event has been organised by a consortium of partners including Dorchester Town Council, Dorset Youth Association, Dorset County Museum, The Keep Military Museum, a local historian and Dorchester Rotary Club. Any money raised will go to The Rifles “Care for Casualties” appeal.

The Mayor will open the event at 10:00am and at 10:30am Dorset Youth Association will launch the ‘Walking in their Shoes’ First World War Interactive History trail funded by a grant of £28,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

1st Battalion Dorsets manning Trench 38 Hill 60 - Ypres Spring 1915.

1st Battalion Dorsets manning Trench 38 Hill 60 – Ypres Spring 1915. Soldier making a makeshift periscope to view German Trench © The Keep Military Museum 2014

There will be talks by local historian Brian Bates and Curator at the Keep Military Museum, Chris Copson.

“It is important to commemorate the sacrifice and the achievement of British soldiers in the war.”

“It was a war of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things.”

“If what we are doing gives people a more accurate idea of what the war was like, that’s very important,” says Chris.

Visitors will even be able to dress up in Tommy Uniform, listen to a performance of World War One songs and try some rationed WW1 stew and cake. Bring any WW1 memorabilia to be identified by an expert and share your WW1 family history stories at the listening post. Children can take part in a trench art workshop and have a go at geocaching along the ‘Walking in their Shoes’ trail. The Durnovaria Silver Band will round up the day with a performance at 3:00pm before doors close at 7:00pm.

For further information please contact Steve Newman on 01305 266861 or email s.newman@dorchester-tc.gov.uk.

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Summer Offer links two Dorchester Museums

The KeepSave money on joint visits to both Dorset County Museum and The Keep Military Museum during summer 2014.

Dorchester’s two traditional Museums are combining their forces in a special money-off deal for visitors to the county town.

From Saturday 24th May until Saturday 30th August 2014, a visit to either Dorset County Museum or The Keep Military Museum will automatically give visitors £1.50 off the adult price for the other museum.

This offer is a brand new initiative in an ongoing series of joint activities between the two museums which will also include a new range of learning opportunities for schools and other interested groups.

“We have wanted to run a joint entry deal for a while now, and this summer seemed the perfect time to do it.” said Jon Murden of Dorset County Museum. “Visitors will simply retain their first till receipt or voucher to receive a money-off deal in the second museum they visit – both visits will have to be made between 24 May and 30 August to qualify.”

Chris Copson, Curator of The Keep Military Museum said, “We want people to feel that they can justify visiting more than just one of the museums in Dorchester. If this offer results in more people finding out about the military and general history of Dorchester and the surrounding areas we will be very happy.”

Dorset County Museum’s Rachel Cole explains how both museums are also linking together with a World War I theme in the summer. “We are running an important exhibition, A Dorset Woman at War, from 31st May and The Keep will be opening a brand new Trench display in a few weeks. As our museums are just a few minutes’ walk apart, we want to encourage visitors to visit and benefit from not just one, but both of these important experiences.”

With visitors anticipated to be particularly interested in attractions with a First World War theme this summer, both Museums feel that this is the perfect time for such a collaboration.

Events: Museums at Night in Dorchester

Museums at Night in DorchesterMuseums at Night – the national festival of museums and heritage – happens on Saturday 18th May this year. Dorchester’s six magnificent museums – The Dinosaur Museum, The Tutankhamun Exhibition, The Dorset County Museum, The Teddy Bear Museum, The Keep Military Museum, and The Terracotta Warriors Museum – have again joined together to offer a wonderful evening out. They are again joined by the Roman Town House and for the first time Max Gate.

Dorchester is probably unique as a town in having so many museums. With the other heritage attractions they make a superb offer of 8 visits for just £8.00, and that price includes a family of up to 2 adults and four children. It’s outstanding value and great fun. Museums at Night is on the evening of Saturday 18th May from 5.00pm to 9.00pm when all six of Dorchester’s museums and the Roman Town House will be open specially to visit. This year a new attraction has been added to the Museums at Night package. As a special preview event Max Gate will be open between 3.30pm and 5.30pm.

Museums at Night really does offer something for everyone whatever your interest. So whether its Tutankhamun or Romans, Thomas Hardy or teddy bears, dinosaurs or Dorchester’s local history, the Dorsetshire Regiment or terracotta warriors of a much earlier age, its there to be explored. On Museums at Night you can visit some or all of these for an extraordinary low price.

The Museums at Night ticket is just £8.00 and admits a family to all 8 heritage attractions on the evening of Saturday 18th May. This great price entitles up to a family of 2 adults and 4 children to visit when purchased in advance. Tickets can also be bought on the night at £12.

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