The Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon is a little younger than other buildings designed to host a glimpse of history, but has arguably become the town’s most famous on a nationwide scale.
Opened in 2004, the museum was seen as a way for creator Richard Wooldridge to publicly display his private collection of military artifacts from across the years, an idea that first came about in 1996 with the foundation of the museum’s charity. That then came closer to realisation with the purchase of an abandoned warehouse on Station Road in 2001. Three years later, the museum was officially opened.
Artifacts inside cover a range of eras and conflicts showcasing the different types of uniform, armour, vehicles, equipment, and of course weaponry (pictured) used in the history of war and military service primarily in the UK. The rarest item in the museum is claimed to be the ‘Riggal Papers’, the training records of World War II ‘Special Operations Executive’ Captain P.M. Riggal, only discovered in the mid-1990’s.
In 2007, the museum earned a National Lottery Grant to aid with expansion, an ‘MoD Donnington Collection’ weaponry wing, as the museum as a whole grew further in size and reputation, to become one of Maldon’s best-known and most-visited tourist attractions.