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London for Ceremonial
The Guards Museum

The Guards Museum


The Guards Museum will be producing a series of podcasts entitled: "Bearskins, Bayonets & Bravery - Notes from The Guards Museum" 

The forced closure of the museum due to the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as the catalyst to create this podcast as an outreach to those who wish to know more about The Guards but are unable to visit us.


Episode 1 - Recorded 13th April 2020

This episode gives the background to the creation of the museum, its location, some information on our great little team and an insight into what we are trying to achieve in our mission to tell the story of the five regiments of Her Majesty's Foot Guards over the last 370 years.


Episode 2 - Recorded 23 April 2020

In this episode, the Director describes the location of the museum and its adjacency to both The Guards Chapel and to the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden. He then takes you into the museum and describes the first few galleries pausing to examine key exhibits and to relate the fascinating stories behind each of these tiny 'windows' onto the history of the Guards regiments.


Episode 3 - Recorded 30 April 2020

In this episode the Director pauses the virtual tour of the museum to share some stories from one of the many wonderful books in the museum library. This week he shares some tales about Lt. Col. John Mackenzie-Rogan, who served for 50 years in the army and ended up as the Senior Director of Music of the Brigade of Guards. A proud Coldstream officer but also an enthusiastic musician too. He conducted his band for Kings and Queens but also under fire in the trenches in the Great War! A remarkable man by any standard.


Episode 4 - Recorded 7 May 2020

This week the Director looks at the next stage in the virtual tour of the museum galleries and describes the elevation of John Churchill of The First Guards to become the first Duke of Marlborough and a favourite of Queen Anne. We hear about Marlborough's many battles and about some of the other Guards officers who fought with him. The episode starts with the Director recounting a story about when Boris Johnson came to dinner in the museum!


Episode 5  - Recorded 14 May 2020

This week the Director focuses on the life of a General who served for nearly 50 years, who met Wellington and was present at that great man's funeral. General Sir George Higginson commended in The Crimea, witnessed the Charge of the Light Brigade and amassed a wealth of experience in how to command men. Written whilst he was in his 90's the autobiography is full of first-hand accounts of pivotal moments in the history of the Guards. Considering the title of this podcast, his story covers all three essential elements!

Episode 6 - Recorded 21 May 2020

Waterloo!  Probably the most transformational battle in annals of the Guards.  This week we look at the Peninsula campaign and the long-running battle between Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte for European supremacy.  We find some familiar names coming up again and we learn about some brave deeds.  And we also get to hear some of the quotes from the Iron Duke himself. 


Episode 7 - Recorded 28 May 2020

This week the Director shares readings from the autobiography of a former Guards officer who was perhaps atypical of those who usually were commissioned into the Foot Guards. Derek Bond was a reasonably successful actor but he volunteered at the outbreak of World War 2 and was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards. He describes his training and life serving in North Africa. During his service he won a Military Cross and was badly wounded such that he had to be evacuated back ti the UK for reconstructive surgery. Although perhaps not as politically correct as he might have been, his tales are as amusing as they are impressive.


Episode 8 - Recorded 4 June 2020 

Continuing the virtual tour of the museum galleries, this week the Director shares stories about the Crimean campaign and the Sudan campaign. These two expeditions were extraordinarily tough for the Guards soldiering as they were in the freezing temperatures of Russia and in the blistering heat of Africa. We look at how and why Britain was involved and what the Guards achieved - the museum has some very interesting artefacts that help tell these powerful stories of heroism in the toughest of surroundings.


Episode 9

A new departure this week!  For the first time the Director has a guest on the podcast.  Roddy Gow, OBE is here to talk a little about his father, General Sir Michael Gow who was an eminent and proud Scots Guardsman.  Following the interview, the Director reads excerpts from General Gow's book General Reflections...A Military Man at Large a series of amusing tales from his 44 years in uniform.


Episode 10 

The virtual tour of the collection continues this week with the end of the Victorian age and the advent of the Edwardian era.  We have a war in South Africa and the establishment of the Irish Guards.  The Director covers the death of Queen Victoria and her funeral arrangements and then the creation of the last of the Foot Guard regiments, the Welsh Guards - all told through the exhibits on display in the museum. 


Episode 11

With the annual Birthday Parade also known as Trooping the Colour cancelled this year due to the pandemic, this week the Director has arranged an interview with the man who usually co-ordinates this iconic ceremony, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Garrison Sergeant Major Andrew Stokes.  'Big Vern', as he is known gives his unique perspective on the parade....its origins, how it is planned and its relevance today.  He also shares welcome news about a ceremony to be held in Windsor on Saturday 13th June to mark Her Majesty's official birthday. 


We hope you enjoy!


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