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Read about all of our upcoming events regarding the Military Intelligence Museum.

August 2017 - Social Media

We have created a brand new Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account for The Military Intelligence Museum. We will update it frequently, posting so many photos and snippets of information about the museum.

Just click this link here to get to our Twitter page: https://twitter.com/mi_intel
Our Facebook page is simply: https://www.facebook.com/Military-Intelligence-Museum-211934016003079/
This is the link directly to our new Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/military_intelligencemuseum/

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March 2017 - WHATS NEW FOR 2017

The winter months provide a short respite for the staff to clean and refresh the museum before we open our doors again to the visiting public in early March. The focus of this time is on ensuring the continued safety and preservation of our artefacts as well as making changes to the displays so that visitors have something new to see.

New for 2017 are the display of our medal collection within the sliding drawer medal cabinets in the Intelligence Corps ethos room. This enables visitors to see the medals and to read a short piece about the recipient and their achievements. We have also tried to include something personal about the medal recipients in order to make them into someone we all might have known, not just as another soldier on parade with a row of medals.

Significant acquisitions during 2016 and early 2017 are now on display. Firstly, during 2016, we obtained the medals of Major Alastair MacDonald MBE MC an SOE officer who, with Captain JPS Amore MC and two others as SOE Mission Cherokee, parachuted into occupied Italy to assist the local anti-fascist partisans. We already held Captain Amore's medals and the opportunity to reunite the two officers through their medals was too good to miss.

Also in 2016 we acquired the medals of Sir John Masterman OBE, the man who led the Twenty Committee (perhaps better known as the XX or Double Cross Committee) which so successfully kept the Germans wrong-footed by the use of turned agents, misinformation and scams such as the well-known story of the 'Man who never was', a tale that was even turned into a film. Sir John's medals share pride of place in the top of a display cabinet alongside those of Corporal Fowler GM who, along with Lieutenant MacDonald GM, also Intelligence Corps, went into an American bomber that had been shot down by a German fighter and had crashed near their base. The two men then set about rescuing injured crew members from the burning wreckage with the risk of exploding bombs all around, their heroism being rewarded with the George Medal.

Late in 2016 we learned through a number of Corps members of the sale on ebay of a World War One jacket that belonged to one of our 'First 55' from that conflict. Such jackets are extremely rare in their own right but having one from a former Corps member who went across to France in 1914 and later gave his life during the last German offensive of the war in 1918 was, again, an opportunity too good to miss. The Museum Trustees duly approved the purchase of this Jacket. Captain William George Gabain MC, remembered fondly to this day by has family as 'Willie', was a scholar and linguist before the war and a noted amateur boxer. Of additional interest was that the Museum already held this officer's medals. The chance of reuniting such important artifacts almost 100 years after the individual's brave sacrifice in battle must be vanishingly small but, against all the odds, this collection is now together and proudly on show in the WW1 interactive display.

We also obtained the World War Two jacket of Sergeant Kaye Norman, a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) who served with the Intelligence Corps in the Y Service carrying out Signals Intercept work, the jacket being donated by Sergeant Norman's daughter during a quite moving handover ceremony.

Our vehicle fleet stands sentinel outside the front of the museum with the Russian ZiL signals truck dominating the skyline and our BRIXMIS Mercedes G Wagen, the sole surviving genuine original, soon to be made road legal by our band of enthusiastic volunteers so that we can take it to military shows during 2017 where we intend putting on a display showing the operators life in the field.

The Long Gallery, (how I have been referring to the corridor!), with its long walls, is ideal to display the 'Homes of the Corps' with information boards aplenty and we will soon be adding a selection of plaques and other ephemera from the various home and operational locations the Corps has populated over the years.

These new displays, as well as a myriad other small changes and reshuffles, completed and intended, are part of our constant efforts to encourage visitors, both new and returning, to enjoy the Museum. As always we are open to comments and suggestions and, most especially, to donation of artifacts that will help us continue to tell our important, multi-faceted, often incredible and always fascinating story.

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May 2016 - A Cherished Museum

David Burrill, the new Chairman of the Museum Trustees, was interviewed by Chris Yates, a Trustee of the Friends of the Museum and editor of the Friends newsletter "Sub Rosa", at HQ Int Corps. Chris explored David's background, his thoughts on the Museum in the near future and his longer-term vision.

We are most grateful to the Friends for their permission to use the question and answer text of their interview on our website.

What is your background?

I am from Blackpool, graduated from RMAS to join the Lancashire Regiment (PWV) in which I served for six years. On leaving the regiment, I joined the Intelligence Corps in 1969. I retired in 1992 at the age of 47 in the rank of colonel, my last appointment being Deputy Director of the Corps and COS of DISC, to join BAT Industries where I was able to pursue my intelligence and security calling in a business context. Whilst at BAT, I was honoured to be Deputy Colonel Commandant of the Corps for six years, and a co-opted MIM trustee. On retiring from BAT in 2006, I set up, and still run, my own company. Recently, I was approached to become Chairman of the MIM Trustee Board and was pleased to return to the active fold of the Corps family.

What skills do you bring to this job?

I am an enthusiastic pragmatist with proven military and commercial success at tactical and strategic levels. I have skills in intelligence and security at operations and leadership levels. My critical focus is on leadership and delivery.

How do you see the museum and the leadership of its trustees?

It is crucial that we do not build silos but have maximum integration and alignment. Until the 1980s, business organisations were all about profit. Now they are about profit, reputation and governance, and need to reflect those factors in their brands. It is important for the military to also project its brand. The museum reflects all that is good in a military brand, projecting history, current achievement and what it wants to be in all senses of heritage.

Why is the museum on the move?

I inherited a strategy already approved by the board. Firstly, in addition to the physical museum, wherever it may be, there must be a footprint for the Intelligence Corps wherever its HQ and training unit is. Secondly, that the museum should be relocated: more public access; not by appointment only; attractive to the widest range of visitors. These goals are justified and of benefit to the Corps and military intelligence. This relocation is a big ambition on a big scale with big funds needed; an estimate of a new building is at least £6m. That remains our goal.

Can you draw a more defined picture of the footprint?

It is still at the conceptual stage, we cant describe the physicality, and at the moment the footprint is the current Military Intelligence Museum.

So, in concept, how different will it be compared with what exists at the moment?

The commitment to the footprint, a physical presence, is absolute, a done deal. I hope that removes any concerns regarding the access for those under training. Let me choose this point to turn to another development which has received full backing from the trustees: a virtual museum. This is emphatically not to be in place of a physical museum, but in addition to it. In theory there is no restraint on the amount we could show. This virtual museum, which may be in 2D or 3D form, would link to a virtual archive. It could, and is likely to draw a global audience with all the potential benefits to brand projection and, indeed, to fundraising potential.

Is the virtual museum a requirement before a physical move?

No its not a requirement, but it is likely to become a reality before a physical move occurs, since there is nothing solid on the horizon for a physical move. The virtual museum is likely to help physical relocation because of the fundraising potential that I referred to. I believe that in six months, well know what we want: understanding design, technical capabilities, and service suppliers. The plan is for a development officer, reporting to the trustees, to manage the project. We wont understand the costs fully until the six-month research phase is completed, but I believe that these will not be prohibitive.

What about the here-and-now plans for supporting the museum?

We are immensely proud of the museum, and no one should lose sight of its immense stature. It should be cherished and managed dynamically now as in the past. Compare it with Ashford which was barely one room, then, as we moved to Chicksands, we got a campaign going under the patronage of our Colonel-in-Chief, Prince Philip, which resulted in the creation of our current museum. Despite the other initiatives, the current museum will not be neglected.

What message would you to send to the Friends of the Museum?

I have an enormous admiration for the energy and achievements of the Friends, and for their generosity in supporting the museum financially and in spirit. I believe that the Friends represent, in thought and deed, all that is good about the Intelligence Corps heritage. My thoughts on this are shared by all the museum trustees.

In conclusion, what else you would like to say?

My approach is to ensure that we as trustees get things done. When suggestions are made to us, our default response should be: Why not?

Thank you, David.

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