A BRAND new £11 million war museum is being built on the site of a current remembrance centre that honours the heroic efforts of Burton soldiers
The Front Line project will see the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, based at Whittington Barracks, demolished, replaced and expanded to incorporate collections from other branches of the Army.
The announcement was made at a ceremony to mark the official reopening of the museum’s First World War trench by Brigadier Jim Tanner, chairman of the trustees of the Staffordshire Regiment.
He said: “The museum is delighted to announce its future plans. The intention is to entirely rebuild the museum on the current site.
“But in an exciting new development this new museum will encompass the museums of the Staffordshire Regiment, the Staffordshire Yeomanry and the Mercian Regiment to create the Museum of the Soldiers of Staffordshire and Mercia.
“In addition, the Army Medical Services Museum will move their fantastic collection in alongside us to create the National Museum of Military Medicine.
“This partnership will be called Front Line.
“Detailed planning and work are now underway. The effort required is considerable, not least the raising of the estimated £11 million required, but we are hoping to complete the Front Line project some time in 2018.”
The opening of the new trench system had an even more poignant feel as it was dedicated to the memory of Burton’s William Coltman.
He was awarded many commendations including the Victoria Cross, the highest possible commendation for gallantry and is the most highly-decorated soldier of the First World War.
He served as a stretcher bearer and showed extraordinary courage, saving many lives.
Eighteen members of the Coltman family were in attendance to mark the occasion.
More information on the museum or the trench system is available by visiting www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.com or calling 01543 434394.