Earlier today I was lucky enough to be offered a trip to the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham by Steve Craddock. The stories and history of the Corp told by Steve was fascinating and had me fully immersed for a good few hours while there.
Going through the museum with Steve was unlike any other experience at a museum, even those with the usual tour guides on hand. Someone who had actually served in the Corp telling of his own experiences, even of using the vehicles and seeing the equipment in action like the harrier jets, made the trip so unique.
I could only have guessed at when and where some of the equipment and machines had been used and how they worked out in the fields of the many wars of the last few centuries, simply reading its name and who made it on a plaque is sometimes an understatement to how important it was. Many things in the museum couldn’t have been explained any other way, such as the minelaying vehicles on display around the site and the multiple bridge building tanks.
The highlight of the trip had to have been hearing about the tactics and weapons used by the IRA, like the daunting mortar on display in the museum, which was also where Steve gave his own stories and insight into what had happened in Ireland from his point of view.
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