Our acquisitions display has now been refreshed at the Museum! It shows you just a few of our many recently arrived objects and will be updated every 12 months as we welcome new items to the collection. View our first acquisitions display online.

The two items shown below have been added to the Museum's Collection in the last 12 months. They tell the story of two REME Officers' contribution to the battle against Covid-19.

Twenty REME personnel were selected for involvement as part of the Government's Test and Trace initiative. Their goal was to enable over 3 million people per day to be tested for the virus. The remit of REME's involvement was to engineer and modify a series of prototype vehicles and trailers. These were to operate as mobile units capable of processing Covid tests without the need to transport them further afield. This would streamline the process and speed up results.

In October 2020, Captain Parker (3 Battalion REME) and Captain Taylor (6 Battalion REME) embarked on the creation of a prototype. This became the design for the first trailer mobile processing laboratory. The project was successfully completed in just 30 days.

The FP360

The body of work to produce the mobile unit included the object seen here - the FP360, named using Capt Parker's initials.

The base sits on ball bearings that allow it to rotate 360 degrees. The cut-outs in the surface hold test tubes. This was developed by Captain Parker after identifying inefficiencies in existing testing methods. This included the use of unstable, disposable sponge holders for test tubes. This device alone improved processing times by 20 minutes for every 14 samples.

A silver circular piece of metal with holes drilled in circles about the centre.

The FP360. 2023.33.2.

The Churchill Medal

The Churchill Medal is awarded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). They state that it 'is given to an individual or small team for engineering and technical advancement in support of military operations and readiness'. It is the most prestigious award for engineering in the military.

Because of their work on the mobile testing units, this medal was jointly awarded to Captain Parker and Captain Taylor in 2021.

Two sides of a bronze coloured circular medallion with embossed writing.

Both sides of the Churchill Medal awarded to Capt Parker and Capt Taylor. 2023.33.1.