22nd November 2022: Royal Green Jackes Museum Visit led by John Gribble
Peninsula Barracks in Winchester was the home of the Royal Green Jackets. In 1989 the museum was set up in the old barracks grounds to showcase the role they played in British Military History. Made up of four infantary regiments the Royal Green Jackets pioneered the art of skirmishing. They were the first to adopt rifles in stead of muskets. They broke the common rules of infantry where ranks of three faced each other and shot until one side or the other were wiped out. The musket was an extremely poor weapon for accuracy over distances of 30 metres where the rifle was accurate up 200-300metres.
The Royal Green Jackets evolved from the Peninsula wars of Spain and then during the battles leading up to Waterloo. The museum centre piece is a layout of Waterloo showing a replica of the battlefield including Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington's positions. It has thousands of model men and horses showing troop positions and formations. A sound track tells the sequence of events as the day unfolded. During the day over 55,000 troops and thousands of horses perished.
There are many exhibits relating to the various VCs won by members of the regiment. The exhibits also describe the Green Jackets' involvement in the various battles from the late 1700s. There are exhibits showing the role of the Green Jackets in Northern Ireland where they served pretty much all of the 40 years conflict.
Andy McNab the author of the book Bravo Two Zero was a Green Jacket between 1976 to 1984 he then went into the SAS. An interesting fact to come out was that Diane Fletcher's Great Grand Father was a calvaryman who fought at Waterloo and survived.
It is an excellent museum, well laid out and tells the story of the Green Jackets very well. Our guide, a retired Major, also made the story very easy to follow.
After the visit we went to Joe's Cafe and enjoyed, in some cases, excellent toasted cheese sandwiches