Showing posts from June, 2018

Heavy Bomber Cockpit

Another exhibit we have in building 3 is a mock up of a heavy bomber cockpit with pilot and navigator. A lot of the pieces of equipment are genuine, but some are exact replicas. When we have a school trip the children are amazed at the tools the navigator uses to plot their position. They cannot comprehend an era without Sat Nav! Pilot & Navigator. Navigator.

"After an air raid."

Building 3 at the museum was once the Officer's squash court, and was also designated as the overflow morgue which thankfully was never needed. Today it contains some scenes put together with the help of mannequins and a collection of suitable "treasures". At the entrance to the building is a reproduction of a grocer's shop with original old packages, recipe books etc. The land girls are also remembered in this  scene.  When you go through the next door you will find on your left a scene of a street after an air raid. Again mannequins are a major part of the display. A little boy who has a wound on his head  is being given first aid by a volunteer, as an ARP warden stands nearby. In the corner is a Home Guard gentlemen. Any of you that know the BBC comedy Dad's Army will see how much he is like Lance Corporal Jones.  The Home Guard was set up for volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service. They were either too young or too old, or in a reserved o

Mindless Vandals

None of us at the museum really have the words to describe how we feel about the mindless vandalism that has been done to the control tower on Davidstow airfield. Two days ago mindless idiots decided to set fire to the control tower building using piles of car tyres. The outside of the building has been blackened and the external render, which has lasted since 1942, has exploded outwards. Inside the building stinks of the fire, and the walls and ceilings have been blackened. These idiots just don't realise what an absolute insult, and how dis-respectful this is, to the memory of the men and women that served here in WWII. The airmen were probably younger than these vandals, and yet they were prepared to go up night after night, and maybe pay the ultimate sacrifice, so that future generations could have the freedom that we enjoy today in this country. These morons think that the world has ended if they can't get a signal on their mobile phone. My late father flew from Da

The Beautiful Spy

A short film, 20 minutes long, called The Beautiful Spy will be premiered at the Roxie Cinema, Cornwall At War Museum, on Saturday 30th June at 11.00 hours.  The film will then be shown on the hour, every hour  throughout the weekend. Locally made, and staring local re-enactors, this is an excellent film. A good reason to visit the museum with this unusual extra bonus.

Probably the only one left in the world.

This gun was trawled up by a fishing ship and donated to the museum. We believe that it came from the WWI submarine U-41 as it was trawled up in the same location as U-41 was reported sunk. U-41 was launched in 1914 and sunk in 1915. This gun is thought to be the only one left in the world.


One of the military deception devices of WWII was the "Rupert", or as the Americans knew them "Oscars." A Rupert was a 1m tall canvas dummy dressed to look like a soldier being dropped by a parachute.  The dummies would be dressed in uniform complete with helmet and boots. They would be dropped in their hundreds, equipped with recordings of gun fire and exploding mortar rounds to make it sound realistic   They were designed to  burst into flames when they landed and were fitted with self igniting explosive charges on their backs so that the enemy never found the "invasion force". Ruperts were used to draw the enemy away from the beaches to be used in Normandy for the D-Day landings. They were dropped in the early hours of the morning east of the landing zone. From a distance they looked hundreds of parachutists being dropped by aircraft, convincing enough to draw some of the enemy away from the beaches. The Rupert in the museum is a replica, but th

Airfield Tours

It's getting nearer to July now which is when the guided airfield tours start on "Marlene" the electric bus. The tour is scheduled for 90 minutes but often takes nearer 2 hours - nobody rushes in Cornwall. The trip covers all areas of the airfield including entrance into some of the buildings. A commentary is given on the tour explaining all aspects of the airfield. The cost this year is £13 per person (£12 or £11) concessions. The ticket includes entry to the museum as well as the tour, so very easy to spend the day with us. The tours are every Thursday afternoon during July, August and September. The bus leaves promptly at 2pm. Please book your seats in advance to avoid disappointment,as the tour is very popular. We are already taking bookings for all three months. If you have a group of 9 or 10 people a private tour can be made by special arrangement. To book seats please ring 07799 194918. We're very sorry but dogs cannot be taken on the bus.

Rapier Surface to Air Missile Launcher

Last week Steve took a "raiding party" of himself, his grandson Bertie and volunteer Martin, to collect a Rapier Surface to Air Missile Launcher for the museum. Steve and his fellow "raiders" often go up and down the roads of not only Cornwall, but further afield, or "up country" as it is known down here. Over the years there have been many sightings of a "museum raiding party" on the lanes, roads and motorways of the UK. Strange things, like a lorry with a Hunter jet with it's wings removed and packed along side it travelling down the M5. A trailer with inert, and therefore perfectly safe, torpedoes or bombs. Anything that needs transporting, a "raiding party" goes to fetch it. Now we have a sign that goes on the back of the trailer or lorry  " Cornwall At War Museum Raiding Party." So if you see the sign on the back of a vehicle give us blast of your horn and make sure you come to the museum to see the item in

WWII Bomber Command Board Game

During WWII a board game was designed called Bomber Command.  It was a simple game where you throw the dice and move on the number of squares that the dice shows - the same format as many other board games The board was made of card and attached to it would have been a template to cut out and fold to make the dice, and the same for the coloured counters. Last year at a car boot sale this board for the game was found. Unfortunately the dice and counters were missing, but that's not surprising when you think how small they would have been and vulnerable made out of card. Paper was on ration in the UK so this would have been a valued game when most of the industry in the UK would have been for the war effort. Quite a rare find and a bargain at £1.Now on display in building number 11.