The Fusilier Museum, Bury has opened a new exhibition in October to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death.
The exhibition entitled Napoleon in Exile tells the fascinating story of the military leaders’ final years in exile on St Helena and will feature several items which belonged to Napoleon himself including a tunic which has never been on display in the UK before.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a military leader, enemy of the British state and an exile who died on the south Atlantic island of St Helena in May 1821. Napoleon spent six years in exile residing at Longwood House, the former residence of the Lieutenant Governor. He was guarded by British infantry soldiers and the last regiment to take up duties was the XXth Regiment of Foot who guarded the former Emperor of France from 1819 until his death in 1821.
Surgeon Major Arnott was one of the doctors attending to Napoleon as his health failed and was with him when he died. He was the only British doctor allowed to attend to the former emperor and he built up a rapport with him over time.
The Fusilier Museum has teamed up with other military museums across the UK and France in order to curate this special exhibition and will feature the tunic worn by Napoleon himself at the Battle of Marengo as well as a set of pistols. It will also display items from the museums Napoleonic collection including the tunic of Surgeon Major Arnott of XX the Regiment of Foot who attended to Napoleon in his final days as well as a replica of his bedroom whilst residing at Longwood House.
Colonel Brian Gorski, Chairman of The Fusilier Museum said, “We’re delighted to able to bring a little bit of Napoleon to Bury and honoured to tell his fascinating story especially with this year marking the 200th anniversary since his death. Not many people are aware that it was in fact a Fusilier who played a fundamental role in his care especially in his final days in exile on St Helena so it’s a great privilege to be able to share that story with our visitors both old and new. This exhibition is undoubtedly a once in a lifetime chance for people to see these unique items all together in the same place and be part of something very special.” Napoleon in Exile has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and opens to the general public on Saturday 25th September. It has been curated by Sarah Stevenson and Paul Dalton and normal admission rates apply.
Napoleon’s tunic is on short term loan to The Fusilier Museum from Musée de l’Armée in Paris until 5th November 21 whilst the pistols on loan from Infantry and Small Arms School Museum, Warminster will remain on display until early December. The rest of the exhibition will run into 2022. The Fusilier Museum in Bury, Lancashire, is home to the collections of XX The Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Documenting over 300 years of history and heritage through permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Museum tells the rich and fascinating stories of the people who have served and continue to service in the Regiments.