An exciting new scheme: ‘Adopt an Object’ has launched for the new Royal Marines Museum.

Supporters of the campaign to open a new Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard are being given a rare opportunity to adopt an object from the collection in a scheme launched today, Thursday 14 February. 

Initially twenty special artefacts have been selected from the museum’s vast collection of over two million items. The scheme gives the chance to put a name to some of the most interesting, informative and educational items in the collection.

Adopt an Object kicks off with a Portsmouth-related item, a Lewis machine gun purported to have been used by Sgt Norman Finch during the Raid on Zeebrugge, 1918. Finch, a Portsmouth Royal Marine, received the Victoria Cross.

On 22/23 April 1918 at Zeebrugge, Belgium, Finch was second in command of the Lewis gun on HMS Vindictive. At one period Vindictive was being hit every few seconds, but Finch and the officer in command kept up continuous fire, until two heavy shells made direct hits on the foretop killing or disabling everyone except Sergeant Finch who was severely wounded. Nevertheless, he remained in his battered and exposed position, harassing the enemy until the ship received another direct hit, putting the remainder of the armament completely out of action.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy said: ''The Royal Marines Museum’s collection charts the battles and operations that define our history.  Each object carries the story of an individual Marine from the past into the present and carries it on to the future. These are stories of superhuman courage and resilience, of wit and humour, of loss and injury of the mundane pattern of everyday life; for through objects we can experience something of the person. We owe it to those who have stood up for us to remember and tell their stories and to do that the Royal Marines need a museum to call their own.  I urge everyone to get involved – I have!”

The collections depict the history of the Corps from 1664 to the present day through a unique collection of artefacts, pictures and documents. One of the most significant parts of the collection is the medal collection consisting of over 8,000 items including gallantry, campaign and foreign awards including an outstanding collection of Victoria Crosses.

There is no minimum donation but you can become a Senior Adopter of an object for £500. Senior Adopters will be invited to a special event ahead of the opening of the new museum. Gift Aiding the donation where appropriate also adds valuable funds to the campaign with no added cost to the donor.

The new Royal Marines Museum, at the very heart of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, will place the 354-year history of the Royal Marines firmly within the story of the Royal Navy. For the first time the story of the Royal Marines, a national story, but also a story with impact across the globe will be told in a building appropriate to its scale.

To adopt an object, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/RMM1 and donate today. Follow the campaign on Twitter at @RoyalMarinesMus.

HMS Hermes returning from the Falklands