Military museum chief sets sights on permanent base

The mobile museum visits Mauricewod Primary School in Penicuik. Picture: contributed
The mobile museum visits Mauricewod Primary School in Penicuik. Picture: contributed
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A MILITARY historian whose father was decorated for gallantry during the Second World War hopes to set up the first museum of its kind in Scotland.

Ian Inglis, from Danderhall, already runs the successful Mobile Military Museum which he takes around schools and care homes.

But the 51-year-old, who served with the Royal Artillery as his hero father did before him, is looking for a permanent site in the Lothians to house his £50,000 collection of weapons, uniforms and equipment, which date from the First World War to the modern day.

The father-of-two, who is running out of storage space for all his artefacts and memorabilia, said it would be the first military museum in Scotland dedicated to all of the armed services.

Costing around £25,000 to set up, the facility will include a library and an education suite, which would be available to the public and to schools for research.

Mr Inglis said: “The 
permanent museum will have charitable status and will shortly be looking for staff and volunteers to help run and manage the museum. Suitable premises have still to be found, so if anyone has any building currently lying vacant and wants a use for it, please get in touch with me.

“We are also looking for anyone who is willing to get involved and help set up the museum and for sponsorship from any local business or individuals, and I am always looking for donations of any military or wartime period items, pictures or stories.”

Since he set up the mobile museum two years ago, Mr Inglis has given up a full-time job as an outdoor instructor to devote himself to the venture.

Mr Inglis, who also works with groups including the Corstorphine Dementia Project and Blenham House care home, has recently expanded his programme of school visits from covering only primaries to secondary schools and universities.

He said: “The best thing for me is working with the kids and seeing their reaction to the collection and the comments they write in the visitor book. The feedback I get from each school visit just confirms that I did the right thing setting up Mobile Military Museum.

“The collection is absolutely out of this world. When I take it to a school, I take up the whole hall and I don’t even take it all with me. Most of it is in storage. I’ve got stuff in spare rooms and under the bed but it’s a shame for it to be hidden away.”

Mr Inglis’ interest in military history began at the age of nine when he was presented with his father’s medals after his death.

Bombardier George Inglis was presented with the Military Medal for “great gallantry” for providing cover in the Reichswald Battle in 1945 and handling the evacuation of his wounded troop commander under enemy fire.