Military memorabilia including the funeral sword of Captain Sir Tom Moore and two sets of rare and important medals won by Yorkshire servicemen will be on display at Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum to mark Armed Forces Day.

Scarborough is hosting the national Armed Forces Day event on Saturday June 25, a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.

Visitors to the Rotunda Museum until Tuesday, August 30, will have the chance to see a ceremonial sword created especially for the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the Yorkshire-born British Army officer who became a national hero when he raised over £30m for NHS charities in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the pandemic.

Also on display will be medals awarded to two other Yorkshire heroes, Company Sergeant Major Robert S Birkenshaw of the 5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment and Company Sergeant Major Thomas Patrick Carney.

Ripon man Birkenshaw was one of the first to enlist in August 1914. His unit saw active service at Ypres, Somme, Passchendaele and Flanders, and he accumulated some of the highest gallantry medals awarded by three countries: the US government awarded him the Distinguished Service Cross, one of only 12 British servicemen to receive this for his heroism in France 1918. He was also awarded the French Médaille Militaire, which was rarely awarded to foreign servicemen.

Carney served with the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment in the Boer War, where he earned his first Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in the field in 1900. He then served in India until the outbreak of the First World War, when he was posted to France. He was transferred to the 12th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment for the remainder of the war in France and Egypt. He was awarded a bar to his DCM and a Military Cross for bravery in action near the end of hostilities. Discharged in December 1919, after 21 years’ service, he served with the Home Guard during WW2. Thomas is one of only 19 men in the history of the British Army to have been awarded the DCM in two separate conflicts. With the addition of his Military Cross, this makes his medal set unique.

Also on show will be two uniforms from the SMG collections worn by Major Edward Parker Stapleton (1891-1971) of Seamer, Scarborough. Major Stapleton initially served with the City of London Royal Fusiliers, progressed to the Royal Flying Corps and then with the RAF. The two uniforms represent the birth and early evolution of the air force during the First World War.

And visitors will be able to find out more about a fascinating piece of local history – the story of the thousands of Caribbean service personnel who trained in Filey in the final years of World War Two.

In 1943, the Air Ministry approved a scheme to enlist RAF ground crew from the Caribbean, then part of the Empire. Thousands voluntarily signed up, and between June and November 1944 around 5,000 West Indians arrived in Britain to begin their training at RAF Hunmanby Moor, a former Butlin's holiday park requisitioned in 1941.

The sword and the medals have all been graciously loaned to Scarborough Museums and Galleries by the York Army Museum.

The Rotunda Museums and Scarborough Art Gallery are open from 10am to 5pm Tuesdays to Sundays, plus Bank Holiday Monday. Entry is free upon purchase of a £3 annual pass (not required for under-18s). Entry to Woodend Gallery is free; it is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Sitwell by Eat Me Café is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

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