The Hampshire Regiment
As part of 231 Brigade, 50 th [Northumbrian] Division 1 st Battalion the Hampshire Regiment came ashore on D-Day, June 6, 1944 at Gold Beach to take the fortified town of Le Hamel. They met with fierce resistance as they scrambled ashore but by the end of the day they had taken all their objectives including the town of Arromanches at the cost of 182 casualties including the C.O. and second-in-command. The Hampshires continued to serve throughout the battle for Normandy and the final advance into Germany. In 1946 the King awarded the Regiment the 'Royal' prefix in honour of its services during the War.
The divisional badge worn on the upper sleeve consists of two red 'Tees' on a black background, denoting the 'Tyne and Tees' origins of the Northumbrian Division.
All the uniform and equipment on display here are representative of the 1st Battalion's appearance from D-Day until the end of the war. The serge battledress and black ankle boots were standard for all soldiers at this time, as was the 1937 pattern webbing equipment, an intelligent design with a high degree of versatility amongst the various components. The familiar Mark II steel helmet has become a symbol of British soldier in this period but the turtle-shaped Mark II can also be seen. This was issued to assault units only shortly before D-Day and became almost a mark of those who had taken part in the invasion, as later reinforcements were issued with the older pattern.
The Hampshire Rifle and Re-enactment Society, on displayat the event, are a long established re-enactment society and Rifle club based in the south-east of England. They take part in television programmes and films, have helped with book production and attend private and public events in the UK and throughout Europe, representing the "ordinary British Tommy".