Guernsey

Royal Guernsey Militia Regimental Museum opens

Guernsey militiaman fights off a French invader
Image caption The displays tell the story of the militia's history dating back to the 14th Century

Opening a museum documenting the history of Guernsey's militia has been "a labour of love", for the head of the island's museums' service.

Jason Monaghan made the comment ahead of the official opening of the Royal Guernsey Militia Regimental Museum at Castle Cornet on Tuesday.

The militia defended the island in the years before the World War I.

Mr Monaghan said all the items, from weapons to jacket buttons, had been thoroughly stripped down and cleaned.

"The militia goes back to the 14th Century so we've got a whole range of uniforms, weapons, swords, band instruments and things like shooting trophies, cups and medals of course," he said.

"The Guernsey militia were just ordinary blokes, they were able bodied men between 16 and 44 to be eligible and obviously if you were higher up the social order you became an officer while the ordinary fishermen and farmers were militiamen.

"They drilled and eventually they were given uniforms in the late 18th Century and they were here to protect the island against all comers."

Although the museum is based in the island's biggest castle the fortification was never manned by the militia as it was always home to the island's garrison of English soldiers.

Instead the militia were stationed at the various forts and batteries around Guernsey's coast.

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