Object of the Month

September 2020

A fine embroidered APTC badge and motto. It was the work of the wife of SSI P Wood "to help pass the time" during the Blitz on Plymouth in WW2.

August 2020

Selection of equipment for bayonet fencing. The padded jacket provided protection whilst sparring in pairs, the hoop on the stock could be used as a target. Bayonet training was an important part of the APTC instructors duties as was practised in the British Army until the 1950s

July 2020

This example of WW1 trench art, with the Corps badge engraved onto a piece of shell casing.

June 2020

Painting of Major (later Major-General) Frederick Hammersley, a noted sportsman and Crimean War veteran. In the Army review following the War Major Hammersley was selected to lead the first cadre of men to undergo training to become Army PT instructors and later became the first Director of Gymnasia

May 2020

Rodgers trophy. Awarded every year to the Association member who has done most to promote Adventurous Training

April 2020

Striped P.T jumper, worn by instructors and recruits on training courses from the late Nineteenth Century until the 1970's.

March 2020

Baluchistan District boxing shield, competed for by the Northern and Western Commands in the days of the Raj. 

February 2020

Set of medals and insignia of SI G Burne APTC who served with the SAS in WW2 and saw action in France.

January 2020

APTC badge, with corps motto. Embroidered by wife of SSI P Wood during the blitz on Plymouth "to help pass the time" in WW2.

December 2019

 "A Military System of Gymnastic Exercises" by Archibald Maclaren. This was the training template taught to the 12 Apostles and which guided the British Army throughout the Nineteenth Century.

November 2019

Olympic tracksuit top, worn by Junior Commander Audrey Williamson, a PTI with the ATS during WW2. Williamson took silver in the 1948 London Olympics.

October 2019
Bust of Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, first Colonel Commandant of the APTC. Presented to the Museum after he retired in 1960.

September 2019

To mark the 75th anniversary of the battle of Arnhem, the POW tags worn by QMSI G.E Pugh after being captured during the battle. Pugh was serving with 4th Parachute Brigade HQ and was captured on the 20th September before being imprisoned in Stalag V11A .

August 2019

A fine silver trophy, formerly presented to the Army inter-unit team fencing champions.

July 2019

The classic RAPTC instructor's P.T vest. First introduced in 1937, the vest is worn for warm weather, indoor lessons and for agility movements such as vaulting

June 2019
Olympic torch relay cauldron from the 2012 London Games. Many members of the RAPTC were involved in the running and organisation of the Games.

May 2019

An APTC service dress jacket from the early 00's. Its recipient served as a paratrooper and in the Gulf War 1990-91. An APTC officer and 27 men formed part of Op Granby in the Gulf

April 2019
Loudhailer used at the 1948 London Olympics, part of which were held at the Army School of Physical Training and organised (and competed in) by members of the APTC. The loudhailer is battery operated but without an amplifier or transformer, using a carbon microphone to produce the necessary current.

March 2019
Leather football presented to Lt-Col John Moore by former APTC WO2 (QMSI) Tommy Lawton. It is signed "To John, good wishes, many goals".
Tommy Lawton was one of the finest Centre-Forwards of his generation. he scored 22 goals in 23 games for England, a total which would have been much higher had it not been for WW2, during which time he served in the APTC.

February 2019

The 1908 Manual of Physical Training, the classic "yellow peril" which laid out the revised training programme adapted by the British Army from Swedish methods of instruction in the early c.20th.

This copy belonged to Brigadier T.H Wand-Tetley, Inspector of Physical training 1939-44.

January 2019

The flag awarded to the winning section on the Assistant Instructor Course at the Far East Land Force (FARELF) School of P.T at Tanglin, Singapore until 1971. The Flag Competition is still an important aspect of the All-Arms Physical training Instructor Course held at the ASPT Aldershot. 

December 2018

This trusty set of dumb bells, a staple of Nineteenth Century training. P.T has got a bit more scientific since those days but this form of exercise remains a firm favourite with members of the Corps.

November 2018

The key to the Oxford gymnasium where Major Frederick Hammersley and the original "12 Apostles" trained in 1860 prior to forming the Army Gymnastic Staff.

October 2018

This signed running top worn by Dame Kelly Holmes MBE whilst winning double gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Sgt Holmes served as a PTI in the WRAC before retiring to concentrate on athletics.

September 2018

A not so fancy object for September's OOTM, but something that has played an important role in the training carried out by the RAPTC for many years. Medicine balls are used for a variety of training exercises and this example was used on Op Granby during the 1990-91 Gulf War.

August 2018

Inter-company bayonet fighting shield, originally presented in 1914. Gifted to Captain Byrne by past and present members of B Company Artists Rifles on his retirement, 4 April 1928. Captain Byrne was a noted Royal Tournament bayonet fencing champion.

July 2018

A poignant OOTM for July, this collection from WO1 (SMI) D.R Pacy and his wife, Mrs F.E Pacy. Both were serving in the Far East in 1941, he in the APTC, she as a nurse when they were captured in the Japanese advance. They were both sent to prison camps and suffered 4 years of imprisonment, with SMI Pacy dying as a consequence shortly after the War.

June 2018

June's OOTM is this oil painting of the Middle East Physical and Recreational Training School, painted by WO2 (CSMI) J. Cottrell who was stationed there in 1944.The School played an important part in formulating the "Tough Tactics" training programme that provided amplified training for front-line troops in Africa and Italy in the final years of WW2.

May 2018

This beautiful oil portrait of Lt-Col Sir G.M Fox, Inspector of Physical Training 1890-97.
Colonel Fox was a relentless innovator, devising many new training programmes and patenting the spring bayonet which allowed safer practice of bayonet training. He oversaw a radical restructuring of the Army School of Physical Training, ordering the building of the gym - now called Fox gym - which is still today the primary gym at the ASPT. He also ordered, at his own expense, the construction of the first athletics pitch.
The site of the ASPT was renamed Fox Lines in his honour in 1894

April 2018

The Wieler Trophy for best shot in the Corps. Originally presented by Brigadier L.F.E Wieler, Inspector of Physical Training 1944-48; this trophy was awarded between 1948-88.

March 2018

In 1948 the "Austerity Olympics" were held in London and were partly organised by the APTC. The Modern Pentathlon Fencing was held in Fox Gym at the Army School of Physical Training, whilst other events such as the Basketball competition were refereed and managed by APTC instructors.

This basketball was one of 50 used during the Games. Afterwards it was presented to the Corps in memento of their efforts.

February 2018

The bell used to mark change-over periods at the HQ Training School at St Pol, France in WW1. The School was in use until March 1918 when it got caught up in the German Spring Offensive. For the only time in the history of the Corps, the Staff at the School were drawn up into a fighting company (lowest rank, Corporal) to meet the threat, though they never saw action in the end.

January 2018

The uniform and medals of Lt-Col James Betts DSO OBE. In 1907 Betts became the first Senior Non Commissioned Officer in the old Army Gymnastics Staff to be commissioned. To honour this occasion he was given the special title of "Master At Arms".

Today, the "Master At Arms" title is awarded to each member of the RAPTC who is commissioned from the ranks.

Betts held many senior positions within the AGS and Army Physical Training Staff, as well as being a champion fencer at the Royal Tournament. He retired in 1924 after 30 years service with the AGS/APTS.

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