Museum-makers

Major Michael Lloyd Ferrar (1864 – 1944)

Michael Lloyd FerrarWithout Major Michael Ferrar there would not be a Regimental Museum.  His passion for collecting, and recording regimental history was impressive and inspiring.

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Ferrar joined the Regiment at the age of 19 in January 1880. His Army career spanned the Sudan Campaign and the Battle of Ginnis in 1885, the Boer War (1899-1902) and the First World War.

Ferrar, along with Major John Parker and Lieutenant Basil Hood, was instrumental in establishing the Green Howards Gazette, the monthly regimental magazine, in April 1893. Ferrar’s own publications including ‘With the Green Howards in South Africa 1899-1902’ and the ‘Historical Record of the Green Howards – XIX Foot’ ensured that everyone with a connection to the Regiment had a clear understanding of how it had helped influence the outcome of nationally important events.

With understanding came pride, and a desire to collect and display objects which illustrated the long history of the Green Howards, and the bravery of individuals.

By the end of the nineteenth century both the 1st and the 2nd Battalions had collected important objects that were displayed in their Officers’ Mess. The 1st Battalion purchased the Victoria Cross awarded to Private John Lyons.  He had thrown a live shell out of trench occupied by twenty men during the Crimean War. Gifts to the 2nd Battalion of a portrait of Charles Howard, and the sword used by Colonel Warden at Alma in The Crimean War, ensured that they were also able to create an impressive display.

Ferrar himself had a collection of regimental medals and badges.  Later, these would form an important part of the original museum collection, and he was supportive of Chapman’s call for a permanent collection to be created at the Regimental Depot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colonel Edward Henry Chapman (1875-1915)

Colonel  Edward Henry Chapman

In 1913 colonel Chapman had written to the Green Howards Gazette suggesting a collection of historical objects should be created at the Regimental Depot in Richmond where he was based.

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Important pieces of regimental history had traditionally been displayed in the Mess wherever they were stationed.  The Depot, on Gallowgate, was where all newly recruited Green Howard soldiers were trained.  It housed up to 340 soldiers, all of whom needed to know about their regiment’s history, and was therefore a perfect location to hold the collection.

Chapman himself had amassed an enviable private collection of more than 100 objects by the outbreak of the First World War.  He left the Depot to command the 6th Battalion, and died at  Gallipoli in 1915. His obituary noted that the collection he had created would ensure that, ‘…he will be known to future Green Howards, when those in whose memory he lives have passed away’.

 

 

 

 

 

Brigadier Tommy Collins (1905-1999)

Brigadier Tommy Collins

In 1934 Collins arrived at the Depot and took charge of the collection.  Later, he was instrumental in moving the museum from Gallowgate to its current location in Richmond town centre.

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Starting with an interest in historic uniforms and headdress, whilst stationed in India and Shanghai in the 1920s, Collins collected more than 90 uniforms; including three scarlet uniforms worn at Sevastopol in 1855, and a complete set of regimental headwear dating from 1768 to 1945.

Collins’ expertise ensured the museum was able to create the finest regimental uniform collection in the country. Over the sixty years that he was involved with the museum he worked tirelessly to ensure the very best  displays at impeccably high standards. His work made the museum a nationally acknowledged model of what a small regimental museum should be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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