An upgrade of a Preston museum which has taken four years to complete comes to an end on Tuesday.
The Lancashire Infantry Museum has seen £200,000 ploughed into modernising the building.
Rugby legend, and grandson of a World War I hero, Bill Beaumont, is to formally re-open the Museum at Fulwood Barracks.
Lieutenant Colonel John Downham, chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, said; “This Museum represents the historic infantry regiments of Central Lancashire – in particular the East Lancashire, South Lancashire, and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments in which the forebears of so many of today’s Lancashire families fought the two World Wars.
“We needed to be better able to tell their story, in better settings which more appropriately honour their sacrifices.
“And we were particularly keen that Bill should conduct the re-opening for us as he personally illustrates the eternal link between our regiments and the people of Lancashire.”
The Museum’s main display area, the Somme room, has been completely redesigned using the funding.
A history of the Lancashire regiments in the 19th century is now in the Waterloo Room and a former store-room has been turned into an educational centre.
The Emsley Room has seen more than 2,000 local school-children pass through since it opened in November last year.
Bill Beaumont has been picked to re-open the Museum after research revealed how his grandfather played a leading role in an epic First World War battle.
Harry Beaumont, a lieutenant in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was one of only four officers involved in the defence of the Diyalah River Crossing in Mesopotama in 1917.
It saw 100 trapped Lancashire soldiers hold off the Turkish army for some 30 hours.
Garrison councillor Charlotte Leach said: “I am pleased that the Lancashire Infantry Museum is to be reopened next week.
“I am sure that the new upgrade will be a fitting tribute to all of those people from Lancashire who have served and will be a reminder to us all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in local Infantry Regiments. I look forward to visiting in the near future.”
Funding for the refurbishment has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent fund, civic grants and fund-raising by many supporters of the museum.
The Trustees have highlighted former Mayor of Preston councillor Christine Abram who sponsored the refitting of the Waterloo Room.
Fulwood Barracks itself is due to expand to allow more troops to be stationed at the Watling Street Road army base.
The museum is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
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