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Old 19-09-23, 07:50 PM
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Skippy Skippy is offline
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Default King's Own Scottish Borderers

Want to give a big shout out to the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum in Berwick-upon-Tweed, which I had the pleasure of visiting whilst holidaying in Northumberland recently.

We have a family member who was 1PARA KIA at Oosterbeek during the battle for the bridge at Arnhem, so have a strong interest in the 1st Airborne Division. For that reason I was keen to discover more about the 7th (Galloway) Battalion KOSB, who were part of the 1st Airlanding Brigade.

The museum lived up to everything I hoped it would and more, with a full day spent there and in the English Heritage museum next door on the British Army from inception following the English Civil War through to just before WWI. Certainly no time for messing about seeking lunch!

Entering the KOSB museum I was immediately met by one of the volunteers and given plenty of information and history, as well as GIFTED a museum guide book on the regiment! Of the dozen plus regimental museums I have visited it certainly had to be the biggest in terms of floor space, with a comprehensive collection across the regiment's full history. An impressive collection of the regiment's members' medals were very well displayed in one of the hallways - so much better than then being stuck in the pull out trays you often encounter.

From the pictures below you can see some of the array of wonderful cap badges on display, from seal patterns to family passed down lovingly polished smooth of nearly all their detail.

And to top it all, in the small museum shop amongst the items on offer were a number of pre-owned KOSB cap badges - a first for any regimental museum I have visited! Hence I was able to purchase the pictured KC badge, thus enabling me to complete the combat element of my 1st Airborne Division cap badge collection. Carefully polished smooth for most of its front, the reverse shows it started life as a most detailed badge and whilst I am aware the KC badges were still being issued to soldiers of the regiment into the 1970's, the crude repair on the back where its previous owner could not bear to part with it despite loosing one of the lugs, suggests some age to this one. The lion's tail has also gone and his crown bent over, but the genuine wear to it and the circumstances of acquiring it make it one of my favourite badges now. A total keeper.

I cannot recommend the KOSB museum enough. But be quick to see it in its current format, as it closes this year for a 3-year odd refurbishment of the barracks housing it. My understanding is the buildings on the opposite side of the parade square will be turned into accommodation and a cafe will be installed on the site. So its is unclear how much of the square footage of the current wing of the barracks the museum will get back - hopefully the same amount. I certainly intend to return for its grand reopening!

Finally in this period of the 79th commemoration of Operation MARKET GARDEN, it is worth remembering that of the 700+ men of the KOSB who landed by glider into Holland in September 1944, nearly NINETY PERCENT were lost to the regiment KIA, WIA, missing or POW.

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File Type: jpg KOSB F.jpg (93.9 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg KOSB R.jpg (109.0 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg KOSB S.jpg (90.6 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg 1st Airborne Division.jpg (73.3 KB, 55 views)
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Old 19-09-23, 08:07 PM
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Tinto Tinto is offline
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Hi John,
Thanks for sharing. A museum well worth visiting.
Regards, John
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Old 19-09-23, 09:35 PM
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3dg 3dg is online now
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Totally agree John
Berwick upon Tweed is worth a visit in itself, Elizabethan fortified town, right up my street, and the KOSB museum was the icing on the cake.
As you said the museum is having a refurbishment, so is closed at the moment.
I too hope to return on reopening.
A nice badge for your collection John.

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Old 19-09-23, 11:42 PM
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cbuehler cbuehler is offline
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I envy your experience. Berwick must be fascinating and the KOSB museum as icing on the cake.
Super badge showing how they were really worn as well. The patina of an old unworn badge may please many; certainly not a serving soldier or RSM!

"We seldom learn the true want of what we have till it is discovered that we can have no more." Sam. Johnson
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Old 20-09-23, 02:25 PM
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Skippy Skippy is offline
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Thank you gentlemen for the kind comments. Alas having only had the day in that particular part of Northumberland and spent it at the museum, I only had a limited opportunity to walk some of the town’s defences. But another good reason to go back.

Plus I rather liked the battered haggis you could get in the fish & chips shops up that way too!

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Old 22-09-23, 12:45 PM
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Scottish Borderers Scottish Borderers is offline
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I'm glad you enjoyed the visit to the museum, I have now been in post as the KOSB museum officer just over 3 years and in that time I have painstakingly went through the whole collection weeding out re-strikes, fakes etc.

The sealed pattern display you mention gives a good representation of changes ad the regiment developed through the 19th and 20th century.

I also included an explanation of the process which gains a fair bit of interest with visitors. Interestingly we also have sealed pattern uniform items including what we believe is the oldest pair of Leslie Tartan Trews dated 1898 and are very scarce, we also have Officers and OR's sealed pattern Kilmarnock bonnets, diced and pipers glengarry's all dated pre WW1 which are currently in conservation storage but will see the light of day in the revamped museum.

As a point of interest as much as we will be closing down, we have secured a location within the barracks to allow us to function over the next 3+ years as a research hub and also the important association work.


Last edited by Scottish Borderers; 23-09-23 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 22-09-23, 05:09 PM
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Hello Gerry, it was very enjoyable. Alas I chose a Saturday to visit and so was sorry to miss you, but your weekend volunteers spoke highly of your efforts.

Good luck with the revamp and do let us know when the grand reopening will be, as I would certainly like to bring the family up to visit and show our support.

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