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French Revolution room to open at Regimental museum in Fulwood

Posted on - 14th April, 2011 - 9:46am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Campaigns, History, Preston News

The Napoleonic eagle, once touched by Napoleon himself

The Queen’s Lancashire Regimental Museum in Fulwood is due to open a new room, dedicated to the French Revolution.

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The Waterloo Room contains a rare Napoleonic Eagle and other memorabilia, including medals, clothing, pictures, rifles and swords, and should be ready to open later this year.

Once touched by Napoleon himself, the Eagle was taken from the 22nd Regiment French Brenier’s division during the French Revolution.

Museum researcher Edward Marsh said: “It’s definitely the most revered item in the museum because of how and where it was taken. It is probably only one of three in the country.

“We have a lot of people waiting to see the room and people are ringing up daily because many families have relatives that were involved.

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“Some of the pieces in here are works of art, every picture or medal has a story behind it. We call them cabinets of curiosity.”

The Eagle was always carried by the most senior French battalion on top of a blue regimental flagpole, symbolising the regiment’s colours.

A captured Eagle would mark the fall of a unit, as the regiment’s colours provided the rallying point for battalions.

Introduced in 1804, the Eagles are approximately 310mm high and 255mm wide, with the regiment’s number on the base.

The Eagle is one of many impressive features of the museum at Fulwood Barracks.

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Over 500 requests a year come from people trying to trace family members through the archive of war diaries, medals and records held on the site.

One such story involved Mrs Snelling, Preston, who wanted to trace her family tree.

Mrs Snelling found that the spectacles and medals of one of her ancestors were held at the Museum and that her great grandmother was born at the Battle of Waterloo, who went onto have 15 children.

It also appeared that her ancestor was featured in a painting of a regiment at the Battle of Waterloo which hangs in the Museum’s main council room.

The impressive room is often hired out by companies holding conferences and was visited by the Queen two years ago for the presentation of the new colours.

The new room was due to open earlier this year but, with so many artefacts, the museum needs more time to prepare the room for public visits.

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