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.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Photographic portrait of Laurie Weeden, a WW2 veteran who was a Glider Pilot. He wears formal clothes, his red beret and medals on his chest.

3945 Portraits Exhibition

  • 19 October 2019 — 5 January 2020

Photographer Glyn Dewis exhibits his photographic portraits of Second World War veterans. Explore his work, find out about their medals, and hear about the veterans' experiences through Glyn's interview recordings.

"I started the project in early 2019 and it's wonderful that the project has already received praise from around the world and is proving to be an incredible experience. I'm incredibly pleased with how well the series has taken off, and how images have already been licensed for use by the Royal Mint and have appeared in National Press. The project's first exhibition opens on Saturday 19th October 2019 and runs for 3 months at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock, Oxfordshire; further exhibitions are planned for France, Holland and the USA.

I don’t ever see myself stopping this project. As corny as it may sound, I truly feel that I am doing what I was meant to do; the reason I found photography. With regards to the future of the project, clearly our World War 2 veterans are very elderly, so my priority is to photograph as many as I can over the coming years before we sadly lose them. I want family members to have photographs they can treasure and that can remain in their families for years to come.” ~ Glyn Dewis

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Standard Adult: £4.50
Concessions: £3.80
Child: £2.50

See website for all admission prices and detailed opening times.

Website

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

Painting showing a crash-landed Horsa Glider, part of the airborne invasion of Normandy prior to the the beach landings of D Day, 6 June 1944

Normandy 75: Oxfordshire to the Orne

  • 7 August — 3 November 2019 *on now

Exhibition charting the Second World War invasion of Normandy by allied forces. Combining information panels from the National Army Museum with the regimental history and artefacts from SOFO's own archives to give an Oxfordshire perspective on D Day and the events surrounding it.

SOFO Museum Open Tuesday - Fridays, 10am to 5pm. Saturdays 11am to 5pm, and Sundays 2pm - 5pm. Last admission at 4.15pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults: £4.50, Concessions: £3.80, Children: £2.50.
Annual Passes and Family Ticket offers also available.
See website for up to date opening times and admission prices.

Website

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

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

  • 30 — 31 October 2019 2-4pm

Walk down memory lane with your grandparents at SOFO this summer! Every Wednesday and Thursday through the school holidays, come and explore our make shift air raid shelter, take part in make do and mend activities, and just enjoy the simple things in life! Create a work of art together, cooking up a sweet treat or discover something new in one of our nostalgia trails. Parents and guardians welcome too!

31st July & 1st August
Wartime Cooking
Come and make some afternoon tea using wartime recipes!

7th & 8th August
Wartime Garden
Make a plant pot from recycled materials and plant your own vegetables to start your ‘Dig for Victory’ Garden.

14th & 15th August
Make Do and Mend
Learn (or revisit) some useful skills, including darning and rag rugging. Bring your own holey socks if you want to!

21st & 22nd August
Poster Making
Create a protest poster with your own twist!

28th & 29th August
Flying things!
Make something that flies and try the ‘Flying Egg’ challenge!


October 30th
Museum in Box
Come along and make your own miniature museum!

October 31st
Good Gourd, What Is That?
To celebrate Hallowe’en come and make something out of pumpkins!

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 Family with children visiting the museum talk to a re-enactor portraying a member of the Oxfordshire Home Guard, while looking at objects from WW2

We'll Meet Again - SOFO Museum Collecting Day

  • 2 November 2019 10am-5pm

Can you help us tell the military stories of Oxfordshire from WW11 up to the 1980’s? The museum is preparing its Reminiscence display and wants your help in bringing alive the key moments and memories of life in Oxfordshire from the outbreak of the Second World war and onwards.

On the day visitors can enjoy a cuppa and slice of cake from the pop-up Iron Ration Café while sharing your memories with our Volunteer Story Catchers, which might feature in our new Reminiscence exhibit, and much more.

Families will get the chance to handle real objects from WW2 and join our ‘Make Do and Mend’ Activity while investigating what objects can tell us about life on the Home Front.
An hourly ‘Bootcamp’ for children will provide a little R and R for grown-ups – and time to try out our Gin Bar! Plus, see local WW2 history brought to life by the Oxfordshire Home Guard and Home Front Living History Group and the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Living History Society. The event will be given a soundtrack by the Oxfordshire County Council Music Serve Youth Orchestra, playing music of the era throughout the day.

OUR FULL PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES, WORKSHOPS AND EXPERIENCES AVAILABLE ON THE DAY:
All activities are drop in and suitable for all unless otherwise stated. Charges may apply for specific workshops.

Share Your Stories and Collections
Throughout the day.
Free

Discuss your stories and objects, from WW2 to the 1980s, with our volunteers and help us put together our reminiscence exhibit.

Craft a Gas Mask
10am - 4pm
£2 per child

Everyone was issued with gas masks in case poison gas was dropped from aeroplanes during air raids. A war time essential, cut out and create your own wartime gas mask to wear.

Guess the Wartime Smells
Throughout the day.
Free

Visit our Reminiscence pod and take a whiff of the 1940’s!

At Home - Oxford at War
Regular times advertised on the day.
Free

A short tour of the exhibitions and discover the role Oxford played in the effort to win the war through its manufacturing industry.

Wartime Objects
Regular times advertised on the day.
Free

Join our curators to discover and handle real objects from the 1940’s that would have been used during the war.

Blitz Family Trail
10.00am - 4.00pm
£1.50 per trail

Explore our exhibitions as you search for clues to complete this fun activity trail.

Receive a FREE Blitz badge when you purchase a trail.

Living History Displays
Throughout the day.
Free

Members of the 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and the Oxfordshire Home Guard bring WW2 Oxfordshire to life in our galleries.

Oxfordshire County Council Music Service Youth Orchestra
Music of the era played throughout the day.

Refreshments from the Iron Rations Café and Gin Bar
Available throughout the day. Gin Bar open to over 18s only.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Admission Free, charges may apply for some craft workshops available during the day.

Website

https://www.sofo.org.uk/wellmeetagain/

Black and white photo of a CWGC memorial, Basra, Iraq

‘The Road to Peace is Paved with Headstones’ – The Commonwealth War Graves Commission: It’s History and Legacy

  • 6 November 2019 7-8:30pm

Wednesday 6th November 2019. 7.00pm – 8.30pm.

Doors open 6.45pm, refreshments available.

As we commemorate the many anniversaries of The Great War and The Second World War there has been much focus on remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice. This talk highlights the role played by those far sighted men and women who established an organisation, now known as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, so that remembrance of their sacrifice will endure in perpetuity. We will look at the architectural and physical characteristics of the cemeteries and memorials as well as the underlying principles that govern their design.

In addition, we will have a brief introduction to the Commission’s presence in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

Dick has has become a ‘Champion’ and Volunteer with The Commission over the last 5 years, and delivers talks to local community groups; history associations and schools and escorts tours to the local CWGC cemetery at Botley in Oxford. Dick is delighted to come to the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum to talk about this extraordinary organisation.

Admission

Tickets £10

Website

https://www.sofo.org.uk/product/dickrichardscwwgctalk/

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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