Take a look inside Rod’s treasure trove of military gems

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military equipment and memorabilia which he houses in a ‘museum’ at his home. He’s had lots of famous visitors including the head of NATO. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A garden shed can be a home for any variety of items, some treasured but perhaps more often neglected.

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military equipment and memorabilia which he houses in a museum at his home. Hes had lots of famous visitors including the head of NATO. - Credit: Gregg Brown

But one former carpenter has transformed his outbuilding into a home for a military memorabilia collection which took him six decades to compile.

Mr Scott, former chairman of the Desert Rats Association, based near Mundford, has been interested in militaria since he was a boy and has picked up pieces from auctions, antique shops and acquaintances within the military over the years.

The culmination lies in a solid concrete outbuilding at his home in Mid Suffolk, with detailed displays of prominent battles from the American Civil War to the First and Second World Wars.

Mr Scott, 70,said he began his collection when he was around seven years old.

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military equipment and memorabilia which he houses in a ‘museum’ at his home. He’s had lots of famous visitors including the head of NATO. - Credit: Gregg Brown


You may also want to watch:


'It is a hobby that I am absolutely absorbed in. It gives me more pleasure than I could begin to tell you.

'I go to do talks all over the place – it's all absolutely fascinating to me.

Most Read

'I don't promote war, but it's about all the little things that are left behind,' he said.

In the museum's carefully collated sections are mannequins bearing military clothing – including infantry and cavalry uniforms, original 18th century French armour and a Norfolk Regiment tunic.

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military

Rod Scott, former head of the Desert Rats Association, who has an impressive collection of military equipment and memorabilia which he houses in a ‘museum’ at his home. He’s had lots of famous visitors including the head of NATO. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A prominent display near the entrance is dedicated to the members of the fourth and fifth Suffolk Regiment who were taken as Japanese prisoners of war in the Second World War.

In a display about Tipu Sultan, who was killed a siege by the British army in India in 1799, there are two rampart guns featuring Tipu's original engravings and a rare handheld cannon dating from around 1600, as well as a real tiger skin and skull.

Mr Scott's display on the American Civil War includes rare American guns which prompted Robert Kennedy, a cousin of the former American president, to pay a visit.

His latest project is a recreation of a First World War battlefield, complete with battlefield sound effects and an earthen trench, and he's also hoping to build a section on the Battle of El Alamein at a new museum at High Ash, the site of the Desert Rats' memorial.

At the heart of Mr Scott's staggering collection are more than 1,200 guns. There are shotguns, rifles and pistols, all of which are licenced – a mixture of sporting guns and military machines used in battles from the Napoleonic and Franco-Prussian Wars to the American Civil War.

Some stars of the collection include two guns owned by Maharaja Duleep Singh, owner of the Elveden Estate in the 19th century, and one of eight Colt Lightning rifles which killed bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde.

There is also a pair of Howdah pistols from gun maker Purdey & Son, dating from around 1866. It is one of only two such pairs in the world – the other belongs to Queen Elizabeth II.

Among the immaculately dressed mannequins and larger weaponry are hundreds of items of military paraphernalia, including a water bottle which survived the Peninsula Wars, First World War tin 'Brodies' and 'Gor Blimey' caps, a wide-brimmed hat used in Western film The Wild Country, copies of posters depicting American bad boys Billy the Kid and Jesse James, and collections of Victorian and First World War medals.

For a military history or firearms aficionado, there are few greater treasure troves.

PANEL:

Rare weapons:

One of the Colt Lightning rifles used to kill Bonnie and Clyde

Alex Henry rifle and Paradox shotgun owned by Duleep Singh

19th century Miquelet musket from renowned Spanish gunsmith

One of two surviving pairs of 19th century Howdah pistols from Purdey & Son

A sword believed to have been used at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485

A Blunderbuss gun made in Thetford

An elastic band gun, one of only a few ever made

A large knife used by the Kray twins, given to Mr Scott by one of their former henchman

Due to the value of the items in Mr Scott's collection, the concrete building which houses it has walls and a floor several inches thick and alarm systems connected to five local police stations.

PANEL:

Famous visitors:

The museum has its own visitors' book, which Mr Scott asks all his guests to sign. Among the signatures you can find:

General Adrian Bradshaw, NATO's deputy supreme allied commander, Europe

Four serving generals in the British Army

A former Crown Prince of Austria

Robert Kennedy, cousin to former American President John F Kennedy

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter