Including collections from
Army | Navy | Air Force | Special Forces | Weapons | Vehicles | Secret Service

The Army

This collection ranges from its earliest origins in the Civil War, through to today’s high-tech, modern army. It includes an impressive array of original uniforms and equipment, which charts the history of the British regular army.

From Victorian times to the Second Gulf War, the soldiers are shown in full combat gear, something rarely seen in other museums.

 

Royal Air Force

The collection traces the development of the RAF from its beginnings in WWI, when it was known as the Royal Flying Corps, going up to the First Gulf War. The displays show pilots and crewmen in full flight gear, from WWI and WWII, as well as the Falklands and First Gulf War.

The centerpiece of the collection is one of the few surviving TSR2 engines.

 

The Navy

The Royal Navy collection ranges from early shipwreck artefacts including a 15th century cannon, to uniforms and equipment used in the First Gulf War. The collection includes an impressive array of munitions from cannon balls to 15" battleship shells.

sRare Second World War Royal Marines combat kit can be viewed, as well as the famous 'Cockleshell Heroes' canoe, and original equipment from Operation Frankton.

You can also see submariners’ uniforms, from WWI and WWII, including submarine escape suits and survival kit.

 

Special Forces

An extensive range of Special Forces weapons and equipment is displayed in the museum, including silenced machine guns, suitcase radios, knives and SOE (Special Operations Executive) booby traps and explosive devices.

The collection also includes rare equipment and uniforms, survival equipment, escape and evasion devices and original MI9 paperwork, as well as the medals and service histories of agents who worked for SOE.

 

 

The Secret Services / The Mason Collection

The museum holds the Mason Collection, which is one of the world’s foremost collections of covert operations weapons, clothing and equipment on public view.

 

Many of the items in this collection are the only examples on display worldwide, and all are real pieces of espionage equipment, some of which were used on operations by Peter and Prue Mason. Discover their amazing story and the link to the Ian Fleming character, James Bond. Captain Peter Mason was an agent with a ‘licence to kill’, who knew Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels.

Ancient

The museum’s English Civil War collection is one of the finest in the country, with armour, swords, polearms, muskets and clothing from the period on display.

In the main entrance is our ‘Wall of Steel’ – oak panelled walls, covered with weapons from medieval times to the Napoleonic Wars.

 

 

Home Front

The Home Front collection focuses on life and service at home during the Second World War, including the role of women at war. On display are Land Army, Women’s ATS, ARP wardens, Home Guard and nursing uniforms. There are also interesting examples of first aid and surgical equipment.

All types of gas masks are shown, in addition to ration and identity cards, air raid precautions and sirens, as well as the bombs and shrapnel that fell from the skies. There are information booklets and leaflets, not forgetting some fascinating propaganda material, from both Allied and Axis powers.

During the First World War the civilian population was gripped with fear of raids from the giant Zeppelin airships. See the fragments of downed Zeppelins eagerly collected by huge crowds of souvenir hunters, and read the amazing stories of the local zeppelin raids.

The collection continues into the Cold War era, with nuclear warfare provisions and bunker uniforms from the 1950s, which illustrate society’s fears of nuclear war.

 

 

Essex Yeomanry

The museum is proud to display items collected by the Essex Yeomanry. Formed as Volunteer Cavalrymen in 1797, to counter the French Revolutionary threat, the regiment served in all subsequent major conflicts and is now part of the TA.

The collection includes examples of uniforms and the regiment’s books. Dating from the regiment’s beginnings, the books range from mundane orderly, mess and cash books, to a huge enrolment scroll and a unique WWI scrap book, altogether giving an amazing history of regimental service..

 
 
 

Combined Military
Services Museum

Station Road
Maldon Essex CM9 4LQ
Telephone 01621 841826


Open Wednesday to Sunday
Bank Holiday Mondays and every day during school holidays
10.30am to 5pm
Last admission 4pm
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