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Exhibition to tell story of barracks

A NEW museum exhibition is telling the story of Richmond's barracks.

Generations of Green Howards soldiers who trained at the former barracks on Gallowgate in Richmond between 1877 and 1961 are remembered in the new exhibition at the egimental museum in the town.

‘Over the Wall’ tells the story of Richmond Barracks, from the laying of the foundations in 1875 as part of Army reforms. It was one of only 26 new barracks to be built in the country and reflected the latest in military thinking. It initially housed the Depot Company of the 19th Regiment (as the Green Howards were then formally known), who moved from temporary accommodation in Richmond Castle to the new building in 1877.

Often known as ‘The Depot’, the barracks continued to train recruits to the Green Howards for the next 84 years, and thousands of soldiers passed through its gates. Renamed Alma Barracks, after the Green Howards’ most famous battle honour, the Depot closed in 196I.

Taken over by the Home Office, it became an Approved School for boys aged 13 to 18. The gym, which for a time was still used by the Green Howards as the regimental museum before it moved to its new location in the former Trinity Church in the centre of Richmond, was refurbished for use by the boys. Many of the other buildings were demolished. In the 1980s the school – now known as a Community Home – became the responsibility of the county council, which closed it and sold the site. It is now houses, some of them converted from the original buildings.

The new exhibition in the regimental museum shows photographs of the barracks throughout its history, and includes reminiscences of some of the people who trained and lived there.

David Tetlow, curator of the Green Howards Museum, said: “We have had a number of people - both old soldiers and people who live there - now coming to see us to ask about the barracks and what went on ‘over the wall’ at the top of Gallowgate so it seemed an excellent subject for an exhibition.

“It has created a great deal of interest and we have had lots of people telling us their memories of their time at The Depot.”

The exhibiition runs until December and the museum is open from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 4.30pm.