What a terrific visit to Cartagena Military Museum by the Orihuela Costa Branch of the Royal British Legion last Thursday.
Attended by over 35 members and arranged for the Branch by historian Dr Tony Fuller, the visitors were welcomed to the Military museum by the Officer Commanding, Major Antonio Martinez, who stayed with the party for the whole of the tour.
The party was briefed by the OC following which they were split into three groups and shown around the museum, which continues to be a functioning military unit, by Tony, and fellow researcher Col (Retd) Antonio Cortiña
Set on two floors the museum has an absolute horde of all things military, from all 3 services, including anti-aircraft and shore battery guns, projectiles, hand weapons, swords, knives, artillery shells and all manner of uniforms, documentation, flags, dating back many hundreds of years.
It even includes the world’s largest private collection of military models, put together by one individual who unfortunately passed away last year, although continued by his son.
All of the exhibits are housed in a beautiful building which, completed in 1876, is well worth a visit for its beautiful architecture alone, vaulted ceilings, built with brick on spherical pillars, in a simple Byzantine style, know today as neo-classical gothic.
An excellent booklet in English can be purchased at the entrance to the building which guides you through the museum room by room, giving a little history and mentioning some of the most important pieces housed in the facility.
Of course not everything went to plan as Tony found himself stuck in the service lift for 15 minutes as the door jammed. However, his rescue was effected fairly quickly so the disruption to the tour was only minimal, even though it attracted more than a few ‘chuckles’.
Following the visit the party were then escorted to La Manga Club where, together with the tour guides, they enjoyed a truly wonderful lunch at La Barra Restaurant, long time supporters of the RBL.
Needless to say, our Chelsea Pensioner Wayne Campbell was treated like royalty as he posed for photographs with the very accommodating proprietor Michelle Wall and her wonderful staff.
A wonderful visit and a truly memorable day.