In 1853 when the School of Musketry was formed, a dedicated body of instructors were assembled to teach and improve standards of musketry and the use of the Minie Rifle. This group of instructors was the basis of the School of Musketry. Renamed as the Small Arms School at Hythe, and together with the Machine Gun School at Netheravon in 1926 the instructors were formed as the Small Arms School Corps. These respective schools at Hythe and Netheravon later became Wings within the School of Infantry.
Regimental officers holding appointments in these establishments and visitors have also contributed weapons, some of which were captured or from private collections, and many others were donated by foreign armies. Very few weapons have been purchased specifically for the collection. The assembling of such a collection is probably best described as the result of the enthusiasm for weaponry of many individuals covering a period of more than 150 years.
Today this collection of over 2,100 weapon exhibits continues to exist as a serious training and teaching facility within the Infantry Training Base, as well as providing examples of major historical firearms development up to the present time. The collecting and receipt of weapon exhibits is an on-going commitment, with many sources providing contributions.
Selected pre-tour servicemen visit for training to become familiar with applicable weaponry. Of course, the historical value of the collection also creates demand from collectors and enthusiasts, as well as providing an interesting study venue.
Within the complex the Travers Library and the SASC Room have their own unique interests and research functions.
Small Arms School Corps Comrades Association Members and retired ex-regimental military 'Friends of the Collection' regularly assist with maintenance and administration, and for this we are most grateful.
There are no formal admission charges, but as a Charity we are always grateful for donations, and the contributions received from visitors.
Some of the foreign weapons on display.
(The foreign section is not featured on the web site)
Officials and Trustees of the Collection
|Officer in Charge
||Major (Retd) Norman Benson
||Mr Peter Laidler
Col Alec Bain
Col (Retd) D (Paddy) Dunseath
Lt Col (Retd) Alan Jones
Lt Col (Retd) M A (Mickey) Toomey
Lt Col (Retd) Richard Miller
Major (Retd) George Shears
Major (Retd) John Oldfield
Major (Retd) Jeremy Reid
|Ex Officio Members
Major General A C P Kennet
Colonel E D Brown
Lieutenant Colonel Will Paterson
Visitor audio aid.
Visitors can be provided with an 'Acoustiguide' audio device that describes exhibits and their locations.
Group guided tours can be arranged.