Museum From Home – ‘Behind the Scenes’

With the museum closed, museum staff have been keeping busy (mostly!) been working from home. These were all projects that we were working on before we closed so we’re quite lucky that they’re easily transferable to home working!

Here is what we’ve all been up to so far!

Bianca – Curator

While working from home, I have been auditing the museum’s very extensive currency collection. I am working through the South East Asian and Pacific banknotes, mostly dating from the Second World War. This includes Japanese occupation currency for all countries that were occupied, rubber coupons, and Japanese military yen. Some of the notes were not identified, including three notes that were thought to be handmade Japanese notes but are actually shipping documents for large amounts of currency being shipped to Thailand. These notes are in at least three different languages- Japanese, Chinese and Thai. Thai currency was printed in Japan and was shipped to Thailand via China.

The images are:

1. Currency travel document

2. A rubber coupon for 1 picul of rubber from Sarawak, used to try to control the exportation of rubber but occasionally used as a form of currency

3. Japanese Military 5 yen note, used to pay Japanese troops and used as legal currency in Hong Kong during occupation. This was a regular Japanese yen but has been overprinted to turn it into a military note.

Katia – Assistant Curator (Archives)

Katia has been working on cataloguing the museum’s archive. The archive holds thousands of documents related to both the antecedents of the AGC and its formation in 1992, and has never been catalogued before. This week she is working more specifically on the F.9. War Office letters, which were sent to officers and clerks in the RAPC regarding specific orders for the corps and changes to the regulations for the pay of soldiers and officers serving in the British Army.  The archive holds F.9. letters from 1928 through to 1961 and today she is working on the letters sent in 1945. From the picture, you can see that these letters regard information from foreign currency to ration rates to the allowance granted to a soldier’s family. 

Tabitha – Museum Assistant

I have been doing a few different things during this period. One of my main tasks is content creation for this blog and social media! So I have been consolidating research already done as well as doing my own to come up with new posts, as well as working with one of our volunteers for a special week coming up in May. I have also been tasked with visiting the museum when essential to check on the building itself as well as doing general conservation checks on our objects. This week I have also begun to make some new covers for some of our uniforms that we have in storage. These are made out of Tyvek, which is a plastic fabric that is frequently used in conservation as it is inert, pH neutral, breathable, and somewhat waterproof so helps to protect the object it is covering.

Taryn – Museum Assistant

For me, I have been going through Soldier, the magazine of the British Army to learn about what the AGC and its antecedents have been up to over the years. Additionally my work has also included studying about army education and the creation of the Army Educational Corps (AEC) and one of the most prominent people in its creation Major, the Lord Gorell.