David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

History? It's All Around Us!

 I have spent the morning in Hornsea 's museum of local history, located in several historic buildings right on the High Street ~

The buildings include an C18th farm house, on the left, and buildings related to Hornsea Pottery. As you'd expect there's a great deal about domestic and agricultural life, which my peasant genes connected with joyously ~

Above, the kitchen range. Below, the farm's Dairy. As both might have appeared in the C19th.
Of course, every community large or more modest in size, has its own connections with Britain's wars at home and overseas, with Hornsea being no exception to the rule. The museum has many exhibits dealing with the contribution the local population made to our country's war efforts in many conflicts. I'd like to share just a few with you if you don't mind ~
A direct link to the Burn family, tennants on the farm for over 300 years.
Serving in the 9th Lancers in the Boer War and in the Great War too.
Of course the Victorian period was the great age of the Volunteer Company. Several items in one display showcase the East Riding Yeomanry Artillery.
The unit's ammunition case c1870.
Cap badge and model of a member of the unit.
The typical Tommy went off to war in 1914 in this uniform.
I have never seen the Imperial Camel Corps commemorated in any local history museum, so a first for me!
Service for many men and women spanned both the Great War and WWII of course. More than any previous conflict, WWII was a total war involving every citizen in the country's war effort. So, the Home Front beyond Dad's Army should be commemorated too ~
The air raid shelter saved many a life I'm sure...
...though the 'home comforts' might be a bit on the basic side.
A few signs appropriate to my theme...
...this one in particular emphasising the danger posed even after a raid.
One feature of Hornsea is it's mere, a large body of fresh water, the largest in Yorkshire. The mere played it's part in the Great War as a base for the Royal Naval Air Service and their fight against the German's U Boat menace ~
The RNAS's seaplane, the Sopwith Baby operated on anti submarine patrols from the mere.
Flying an early biplane was far from a comfortable experience...
...with pilots and observers needing ample protection from the cold at altitude.
The RNAS had its own adapted buttons on its uniforms featuring not the anchor of the RN but the albatross!
Late in the war the RNAS and the RFC were merged to form the newest arm of service, the RAF.
Uniform of a sergeant in the RFC. The army's khaki would give way to the RAF's blue-grey.
The new service would have its own distinctive gallantry awards too. Though like much else they would be tarnished by pointless class divisions!
Of course as wargamers we should never forget that, unlike our games, war has an all too human cost ~
Separation from loved ones was a temporary trauma for many...
...but a permanent grief for all too many.

Our family has been spared that trauma gratefully but we can all take a moment to remember those who have not.
If you are ever in the area I'd really recommend a visit. At £5 it's a snip!


  1. A wonderful share David. We had an Anderson Shelter as a coal bunker when I was a wee boy.

    1. Thanks George. An aunt had a brick & concrete shelter in her large garden which fascinated me as a child.

  2. Social and military history all in one what's not to like. Anderson Shelter coal bunkers the 50's must have, we lived in a pre-fab too🙂

    1. Here in Wolverhampton the remaining Prefabs are listed buildings I believe.

  3. A lovely mix of stuff there david. My maternal grandparents lived in a very basic two up, two down cottage for much of their married life and the first photos very much remind me of it all. Bathing in a tin bath in front of the open fire in the kitchen very much springs to mind!

    Anderson shelters are still seen around here in a few places, but most have now been knocked down as the gardens are 'improved'. A few still remain though.

    1. Thanks SteveJ. It seems we all have memories my post has resonated with

  4. A lovely little museum David…
    These places often have a nice collection of local and family exhibits, which really help put a human face on the past…
    My grandparents built a rockery on their Anderson shelter which my toys soldiers fought many a battle across 😁

    All the best. Aly

  5. Thank you for taking the time to share these last two posts Dave.... very thought provoking, especialy the stadards in the cathedral. It's always nice to visit these small local museums and pay homage and support the presevation of such fascinating artefacts. Looks like it was well worth the trip.
    Hope you're feeling better.

    1. Glad you enjoyed my rambling and pictures Paul. We are over the Vid bar a cough at times. Are you and yours recovered from the Taffycrom version?