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Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010
New extension at Chelmsford Museum set to be opened
The Battle of Gundamuk
The Battle of Gundamuk is on display at Chelmsford Museum in Oaklands Park

Chelmsford Museum will be opening its new extension on Saturday, 23 January 2010 and BBC Essex will be there.

BBC Essex's Dave Monk is due to kick-off the public celebrations in Oaklands Park after a 15 month refurbishment.

The event will get underway at 10am and there is a chance to be among some of the first visitors into the new complex at the museum.

Two of our 10 'A History of the World' objects from our Essex artefacts are housed at the museum in Oaklands Park.

A Crompton arc lamp and a painting of the 'Battle of Gundamuk' by William Barnes Wollen have both been included in the digital archive on the BBC's website.

Inside the new building are displays about the Marconi company and other important industrial heritage from the town, along with the Essex Regiment museum.

Chelmsford Museum
The new extension has cost around 5 million to build

Some items from the Marconi collection will be returning to Chelmsford for the first time since they were moved to the University of Oxford and the Museum of History of Science in Oxford, in December 2004.

The day is being linked to the BBC's 'A History of the World' series and people can come down and look round the exhibitions being staged at the museum in Chelmsford.

The painting of the 'Battle of Gundamuk' is in the Essex Regiment Museum, and is on display in the newly refurbished section at Oaklands Park.

During a forced retreat from Kabul towards Peshawar in 1842, the last 45 men of the 44th Foot (Essex Regiment) were surrounded in daylight near Gundamuck.

In this last stand, the Regimental Colour was torn off its pike by Lieutenant Souter and wrapped round his waist to protect it.

Crompton arc lamp
R.E. Crompton designed a type of lamp still used today in tube lighting

The Afghans spared his life in the belief that the yellow silk was the waistcoat of a rich and important man suitable for ransom.

Tom Hodgson, from the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, told BBC Essex about the painting: "The picture depicts the final stand of the Essex Regiment in 1842, taking part in an expedition to Afghanistan.

"This is not an easy scene as it shows a defeat, but would have been used to show how heroic the soldiers had been," he said.

"It has a resonance with our modern campaigns in Afghanistan," he added.

Join BBC Essex at Chelmsford Museum in Oaklands Park from 10am on Saturday, 23 January 2010 for a fun filled day.




SEE ALSO
5m museum expansion is approved
01 Apr 08 |  Essex
Marconi archives may return home
23 Jul 05 |  Essex
Marconi archives move to Oxford
06 Dec 04 |  Berkshire

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