Soldiers of Oxfordshire - conflict and county

SOFO offers its visitors engaging and immersive experiences through a changing exhibitions programme and permeant galleries including a recreated Great War trench, a mock up section of a Horsa Glider from D Day and Afghan Alley. Our galleries take visitors through the life of a ‘21st Century Soldier’, the ‘Blood and War’ of the frontline, Winston Churchill and the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars and the ‘Liberation of Bergen-Belsen’ by the Oxfordshire Yeomanry as well as ‘Prisoners of War, at Home and Abroad’. For visiting children, we offer an under-fives den, Kids Art Cart, trails and quizzes as well as dress up, feely boxes and code breaking!  Please visit our website for our events listings and information on how to research your soldier from our unique archive covering the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire light Infantry and the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars.  Date for the Diary: In November 2017 we open ‘Oxfordshire Remembers Part 11’. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund SOFO’s closing exhibition on the Centenary of the Great War charts the impact of the war for Oxfordshire during 1916-1918 and the key moments for the county’s two regiments. Using narratives and artefacts previously untold and unseen, the exhibition will blend the personal with the world’s account of the First World War. The exhibition will close in November 2018.
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SOFO offers its visitors engaging and immersive experiences through a changing exhibitions programme and permeant galleries including a recreated Great War trench, a mock up section of a Horsa Glider from D Day and Afghan Alley.
Our galleries take visitors through the life of a ‘21st Century Soldier’, the ‘Blood and War’ of the frontline, Winston Churchill and the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars and the ‘Liberation of Bergen-Belsen’ by the Oxfordshire Yeomanry as well as ‘Prisoners of War, at Home and Abroad’.
For visiting children, we offer an under-fives den, Kids Art Cart, trails and quizzes as well as dress up, feely boxes and code breaking!

Please visit our website for our events listings and information on how to research your soldier from our unique archive covering the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire light Infantry and the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars.

Date for the Diary:
In November 2017 we open ‘Oxfordshire Remembers Part 2’. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund SOFO’s closing exhibition on the Centenary of the Great War charts the impact of the war for Oxfordshire during 1916-1918 and the key moments for the county’s two regiments. Using narratives previously untold and artefacts previously unseen, the exhibition will blend the personal with the world’s account of the First World War. The exhibition will close in November 2018.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive

Opening hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10:00-17:00
Wednesday: 10:00-17:00
Thursday: 10:00-17:00
Friday: 10:00-17:00
Saturday: 11:00-17:00
Sunday: 14:00-17:00

Last admission: 4.45pm

Research Centre and Meeting Rooms open by appointment only.
For appointments and bookings call 01993 810210.

Admission charges

Adults £4.50
Student £3.80
Concession £3.50
Children 5-16 £2.50
Children under 5 Free

Getting there

By car: via A44 Oxford to Evesham. Please use postcode OX20 1SN for your sat-nav. By bus: S3 from Oxford city centre. 242 from Witney. For bus time tables see www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk The nearest train station is located in Long Hanborough which is 4.1 miles away.

Disabled parking is located directly outside The Oxfordshire Museum. There are also other spaces there but these are limited. There is a FREE public car park a short walk away in Hensington Road.

Additional info

The Garden and Cafeteria are run by The Oxfordshire Museum adjacent to Soldiers of Oxfordshire.

The collection originated in the 1920s as a small private collection which was formerly housed in the now-demolished Cowley Barracks. The size and scope of the collection was much enhanced in 1922 when Hugh Cecil Lea, who had originally served in the regiment as a private, donated his unique and magnificent collection of Napoleonic, Boer War and Victorian medals, all of which had been awarded to men of the 43rd Light Infantry.

Collection details

Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Fine Art, Personalities, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • The fine art collection includes several water colours by the military artist Richard Simkin, together with numerous paintings, prints and photographs which illustrate the uniforms of the 43rd Light Infantry, the 52nd light Infantry, The Oxfordshire Militia, The Oxfordshire Volunteer Rifle Corps and other constituents of the OBLI.
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Young boy and his father taking part in an arts a craft activity with coloured paper and glue.

SOFO Family Open Afternoons

  • 8 — 9 April 2020 2-4pm
  • 15 — 16 April 2020 2-4pm

Every Wednesday and Thursday through the school holidays, come and explore our family-friendly museum and take part in themed craft activities! Create a work of art together, have a go at some wartime skills, or discover things old and new in one of our nostalgia trails. A perfect afternoon escape for grandchildren and grandparents!

Drop-in from 2pm - 4pm

£2 per child, grown-ups go free (Children must be accompanied by an adult).


February 19th and 20th
Cartoons and Comic Strips
Using historical cartoons as inspiration, create your own animated flip book.

April 8th and 9th
Navigation – The Toughest Easter Egg Hunt
Learn navigation techniques to find the eggs hidden around the museum.

April 15th and 16th
Marching to the Beat of the Drum
Discover the role music plays in the armed forces and have a go at playing some tunes.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 0-4
  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£2 per child. Adults and children under 3 FREE.

Website

http://www.sofo.org.uk/whats-on/

A painting by artists Shearer Armstrong, depicting in portrait a senior air raid warden wearing a steel 'tommy' helmet and leather jerkin and armband, he carries a satchel slung over one shoulder.

The Art of World War II: A Personal Collection

  • 5 March — 7 May 2020 *on now

The Art of World War II exhibition has been curated from John Noott’s personal collection of work, gathered together during his career as an art collector and dealer for more than 40 years. The pieces themselves form a history in pictures of the Second World War, but give incredibly personal perspectives reflecting a varied range of experiences before, during, and after the conflict. Through the work of artists of the time, visitors can see the war unfold ‘as it happened’.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see a view of Dunkirk as troops are evacuated, painted by a nephew of Winston Churchill, John Spencer Churchill, reflecting what he had witnessed during his own army service. The artists would return to England to inform his uncle personally of the need for boats to assist in rescuing the troops there. Elsewhere, the plight of both evacuees and refugees is seen as artists of the time depict the many people displaced by war, such as those coming to Britain as part of the Kindertransport rescue programme in the build up to the Second World War.

The artists whose work is included in the collection range from skilled amateurs to professionals, from those already renowned at the time to those who would go on to make a name for themselves in a post-war world. A sketch by Eduardo Paolozzi, better known as a pioneering pop-artist, contrasts newly arrived American troops with a typical Oxford scene of a student cycling through the city with the famous skyline as a backdrop. The artist faced discrimination and later internment under the Enemy Aliens Act, along with many of his family, because they had moved to Britain from Italy. The exhibition also features art from Vogue fashion illustrators forced to flee Paris, and Beano cartoonists that turned their hand to cartography to aid General Montgomery in North Africa.

Collector John Noott also knows how wide-reaching the impact of the war was on a personal level, having grown up in wartime Britain. He was seven years old in 1939, and remembers clearly many nights in air raid shelters and his father’s service with the Local Defence Volunteers after work (later to become the Home Guard, or ‘Dad’s Army’). These lived experiences inspired him to gather the collection throughout his own career, which will now be put on display for the first time in Oxfordshire.

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum is open from Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm. The county’s only military history museum is located in the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£4.50 (Adult), £3.80 (Concessions), £2.50 Children.
See website for up to date admission information, including annual passes, family and group ticket offers.

Website

https://www.sofo.org.uk/visit-us/

Getting there

By car: via A44 Oxford to Evesham. Please use postcode OX20 1SN for your sat-nav. By bus: S3 from Oxford city centre. 242 from Witney. For bus time tables see www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk The nearest train station is located in Long Hanborough which is 4.1 miles away.

Disabled parking is located directly outside The Oxfordshire Museum. There are also other spaces there but these are limited. There is a FREE public car park a short walk away in Hensington Road.

Soldiers of Oxfordshire - conflict and county
Park Street
Woodstock
Oxfordshire
OX20 1SS
England

logo: Museums at Night

Website

http://www.sofo.org.uk/

Telephone

01993 810210

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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