Our Collection

Please note, as of June 2024, Bodmin Keep needs urgent preservation work.
During this time, some of the displays will be temporarily closing, although we are working hard to ensure as much as possible is on display.  Currently the displays about the history of the Light Infantry are still accessible and we will be making further updates to the displays in the coming months. The work is anticipated to be completed Spring 2025. Please call 01208 72810 before your visit to avoid disappointment. 

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The museum has a large collection of over 12,000 items, most of which are on display.  The collection tells many stories of battle and of the lives and bravery of individual soldiers.  There are numerous works of art which illustrate the battle stories, over 80 uniforms from Napoleonic times to the modern day, hundreds of medals awarded for the brave deeds carried out in wartime through the ages and numerous works of art, sculpture and decorative art.


Objects and Their Stories

Read about some of our most intriguing artefacts and learn insights into some of our most interesting objects in the collection. 



Objects and their stories

Objects in 3D!

Explore 3D scans of a selection of objects  from our collection.  

Explore our museum objects in 3D


A uniform displaying the epaulette's and breast plate
Private Sambrook, Battle of Mons, A German picklehaubes helmet
A Photograph featuring badges on the arm a military jacket

The museum’s superb uniform collection takes you through history from the late 18th century right up to the present day. There are uniforms of the volunteer regiments, the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, the Home Guard and the Light Infantry. See the dashing red uniforms and distinctive hats of the 18th and 19th centuries, later Khaki uniforms introduced in the 1890s, rare World War 1 kit and modern camouflage.


Cap badge
Orders of striped tiger Medal
Medals awarded to Colonel R W Wetherell CMG

The huge collection of medals and badges held by the museum covers the 19th and 20th centuries. They mark the service and bravery of hundreds of soldiers and tell the stories of many men of all ranks. They include Victoria Crosses, exotic medals such as the Order of the Striped Tiger and many are beautiful objects in their own right.

Music & The Arts

The regimental Silver
Commanding officers bugle at Cornwall's Regimental Museum
Oil painting of young soldier in WW1 uniform
A painting of an officer from the 46th regiment

The Light Infantry has a very strong musical tradition. Drums and bugles were vital pieces of equipment used to relay orders and provide communication both in barracks and in the field. In the museum you will find many instruments, along with wonderful bandsmen’s uniforms and equipment. The museum displays include many impressive drums and bugles some of which are battle-scarred with bullet holes. The collection also includes many fine drawings, paintings and sculptures.


Close up of a Gun's firing mechanism
Creative view of a weapon
One of the swords in the collection at Cornwall's Regimental Museum
Percussion Musket

The museum has a huge armoury containing one of the best weapon displays in the country. The weapons date from the 1780s to the 1970s and include swords, rifles and hand guns from Britain, Germany, Italy, the USA and Australia. Important guns on display include the Lewis Gun, which was the weapon used by Harry Patch during his time with the Regiment in World War 1 and the Vickers Machine Gun, first issued in 1912 and in use until 1962.

Cornwall's Dispersed DCLI Collection

Letters From The Queen Victoria to Mrs Keveth of Bodmin Moor
Not At Home sign, WW1, Propaganda
The WVS (Women’s Volunteer Service) parading at Bodmin in 1939.

While we hold the largest collection of material relating to the DCLI, we are aware that there are many other places across the County that have objects and archives relating the Regiment  We have therefore researched the DCLI Material held in other Cornish Collections and have published the lists of material provided by pour colleagues in museums, archives and other collections across the County.

Mapping Cornish Collections
Our collections


The Sir John Moore Room at Cornwall's Regimental Museum

Sir John Moore, Founder of the Light Infantry

The museum has a room dedicated to Sir John Moore, a hugely important figure in the development of the British Army and the history of the Light Infantry.  He is best-known for his important military training reforms which led to a new kind of soldier, and for his dramatic death in 1809 at the Battle of Corunna in Spain whilst fighting the French.

The museum’s display focuses on his ceremonial Order of the Bath silk mantle and includes a unique selection of his personal possessions.

The Lucknow Counterpane - The blue and red panels were taken from the uniforms of dead soldiers.

Lucknow Tablecloth

Produced by a soldier in the British Residency at the siege of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny in 1857.  The red blue and white pieces were cut from the uniforms of dead soldiers and the green centrepiece (now faded) was made from the baize of the residency’s billiard table.

Harry Patch

Harry Patch, The Last Fighting Tommy

Harry Patch was known as the ‘Last Fighting Tommy’. Living to the age of 111, he was the last remaining survivor of World War 1 in the United Kingdom. During the First World War he was a Lewis gunner in the 7th Battalion in the Duke of Cornwall’s Infantry. Until his death, at the age of 111 in 2009, he frequently visited the museum.

Victoria Cross Medals

Victoria Crosses

Only the bravest deeds in wartime are rewarded with a Victoria Cross. One of the ‘VC heroes’ was bandsman Thomas Edward Rendle of 1st Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Risking his own life during heavy shell and rifle fire in the Great War, Rendle rescued men from the trenches in which they had been buried by enemy attacks. Seven other VC heroes received the same medal during their service in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. 

A piece of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall

This piece of the Berlin wall is one of the largest pieces in the United Kingdom.  It used to be part of the 110km wall around West Berlin.  It speaks volumes about how Germany and Berlin were divided during the Cold War, with colourful modern graffiti on one side and the East German side completely blank.