image Donating items to the Museum

How our collection grows

The Museum’s collections can only develop with your generosity.

The vast majority of the 130,000 items that the Museum cares for were donated to us.

Many items are from current and former REME personnel and their families, but we are excited to hear from anyone who may have something of interest.

What we add to our collection

The Museum is keen to collect all types of artefacts related to REME history.

We are interested in everything from medals to manuals, film to fuel cans, so long as it relates to the the Corps or someone who served with them.

We love items that shed light on REME’s early years in World War Two, but we are also very interested in recording recent operations and activities.

How to make a donation

If you have items you would like to donate, contact with the following information:

  • Your name and contact details
  • A description or list of the items you would like to donate
  • Information about the items that helps us understand its importance, e.g. family stories
  • Details of how you came to own the items
  • Photographs or scans, if possible

We assess all potential donations at quarterly meetings of our Acquisitions Panel. All potential donations are discussed with reference to our Collections Development Policy (available to view on request).

Successful donors will be contacted to arrange delivery and completion of paperwork for our records. Once acquired, items become part of our permanent collection.

Please do not send or deliver potential donations directly to the Museum, unless asked to do so. Staff are not available to take receipt of items without prior notice. Unsolicited postal donations are returned to senders. If we cannot return items they will be held for six months and may be disposed if not claimed.

Before you get in touch

Please be aware that:

  • We can rarely accept hazardous material, e.g. firearms, items that contain asbestos and those with radioactive components
  • Not all items donated to the Museum can be displayed
  • Proposed long-term loans are rarely accepted
  • Decisions about what is accepted to the collection can sometimes take up to three months, due to quarterly scheduling of Acquisitions Panel meetings

The REME Staff Band

When the REME Staff Band relocated to Catterick in North Yorkshire, they donated various items to the Museum. In addition to the items you can see here, their donation also included instruments, music stands, various albums and a synthetic leopard skin worn by the bass drummer.

The official Regimental March of the Corps is the Lillibullero, a tune that has its roots in the 17th century.

Voices Of The Forces Record

How did military families keep in touch before the internet? One way was to record messages and post them home. Recorded during World War Two, this gramophone record allowed soldiers far away from loved ones to send back a spoken message.

The condition of this object is poor, however we were able to make a digital copy of the recording, in which the sender wishes his family a Merry Christmas. It was donated by his son.

Thornycroft Hathi Tractor

The Hathi (Hindi for elephant) artillery tractor. was created by the Royal Army Service Corps Training College in 1922, as the army needed a four wheel drive vehicle. Thornycroft, the famous Hampshire vehicle manufacturer, produced 25 in 1924.

After World War Two, this one was sold to a timber merchant, who later sold it to a competitor. Damaged in a roll over, it lay derelict for some years until the owner offered it to the Museum.