Museum of Military Medicine

BY CAROL MULHOLLAND

RECENTLY JESS POCOCK AND I visited The Museum of Military Medicine at Ash Vale in Surrey. We first heard of this at the London Science Museum exhibition ‘Wounded, conflict, casualties and care’ (also highly recommended and on until 15 January 2018)

There are regular trains from Waterloo to Ash Vale and a pleasant half hour walk to the museum…turn right when leaving the station and walk along main road, past the children’s nursery and right into Mytchett Lane (you may see the museum sign hidden in the undergrowth!)

Walk down the lane and take a right turn into Mytchett Place Road and you will see Keogh Barracks where the museum is housed.

You need a photo ID to get in… we took our IWM passes and the museum is free.

The exhibitions appear to have been newly organised and house artefacts from The English Civil War to present day conflicts… all are numbered so you can’t get lost!

There are so many amazing things to see including tableaux of field hospitals and macabre specimens such as Civil War arrow head removers and early amputation saws.

As Jess pointed out it covers a huge time frame and brings you right up to date with the very impressive modern day equipment carried in the field today. This means that lives can be saved on the spot so that complicated fractures, for example, can be treated quickly before moving patients to a treatment centre.

There are also sections on animals used in various conflicts as the barracks also houses the army veterinary services.

Of special interest to Jess and I were uniforms and headgear from WW1.

Image: Brody helmet and an example of a tank driver’s face mask to protect from splinters caused by either a shell exploding inside the tank or hitting the outside and sending loose splinters of steel flying around the inside of the tank. (Image (C) Carol Mulholland)

We had a wonderful day and strongly recommend a visit but make it soon as the whole thing is moving to Cardiff next year!

Some extra information:-

  • Opens Monday to Friday 9.30 to 3.30 but more days planned during the Summer (probably best to call before you go on 01252 868612)
  • If you plan to drive satnav is GU16 6DD… check about parking before you go.
  • There is no cafe but a one mile walk up the road is Basingstoke canal centre which has seats inside and outside and is lovely(museum will give you directions)
  • The Museum of Military Medicine website is at: https://museumofmilitarymedicine.org.uk/
  • The Science Museum’s ‘Wounded, Conflict and Care’ exhibition details are at:
    http://sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/exhibitions/wounded

Hope you have a great day!

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