Royal Observer Corps Museum
The ROC Museum has an extensive and unrivalled collection of Royal Observer Corps memorabilia including photographs, documents dating back to the formation of the Observer Corps in 1925 and the creation of Winchester Group in 1926, records of members of the Corps from all parts of the UK, and equipment used by the Corps for operations and training since its inception to final standdown in 1995. It also has a collection of badges and insignia, uniforms and clothing worn by members during its 70 year history.
Members of the ROC Museum Trust mount several exhibitions and displays each year at locations in Hampshire and its environs. Photographs of local ROC Posts and lists of their members are displayed with requests for more information. One-day exhibitions are also offered to schools, now that recent history features in schools’ curricula. The Museum supports other exhibitions and events up and down the country with the loan of documents, uniforms and equipment. Relatives and friends of those in photographs displayed at exhibitions often volunteer valuable data. Using the Museum’s extensive archive, its Curator regularly supplies information about people and events to bona fide enquirers interested in discovering details of happenings in which the Royal Observer Corps may have been involved.
One of the aims of the Museum is to compile a list of all Corps members, particularly those who served during the war years. Until its re-formation in 1947 no personal numbers were issued to its personnel, and it is difficult to determine what the strength of Posts and Centre Crews in each Group were. It is here that early records, membership lists of the ROC Club, and old photographs can help. The Museum currently holds upwards of 25,000 names, and the list is still growing. Another objective is to have a photograph of every Post and Centre/Operations Room.
Our Curator will be pleased to hear from anyone who has information or memorabilia which might be of interest to the Museum, particularly old documents or photographs which could be copied or borrowed.
Until the Museum finds a new permanent home it has adopted a policy of taking exhibitions to the public in a variety of venues within the old 14 Group ROC boundary, which covered Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, and parts of Surrey, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Dorset.