Muckleburgh Military Collection salutes Armed Forces Day

Military men and machines from the past and present mingled as a Norfolk museum hosted a weekend linked to Armed Forces Day.

Modern day reconnaissance teams from RAF Marham showed off their kit and work skills alongside re-enactors from the second world war era at the Muckleburgh Military Collection on the North Norfolk coast.

Attractions included military displays, vehicle rides, tank demonstrations, models, and re-enactment groups - including a German field kitchen.

And on Saturday there was a VIP visit from an historic set of German marksmen dating back to the 18th century making their first visit to England through a family connection with Weybourne museum boss Sir Michael Savory.

He was turned out in the uniform of the honorary colonel of the London Regiment, a five-year role the former Lord Mayor of London has now handed over to the Earl of Wessex.

Sir Michael said the collection, opened by his former RAF squadron leader father Berry in 1988, first held a special weekend to mark the centenary of the Territorial Army three years ago, and had held one annual ever since 'to make the local community aware of the forces' contributions.'

His German cousin Julius von Heimendahl brought his plume-hatted Schutzen unit from the Rhein to the first day of the event.

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The former Gresham's school student is general of the unit of military style uniformed and ranked marksmen, whose roots are in Prussian units of hand-picked sharpshooting soldiers who went ahead of the main army to disrupt the enemy.

Today their ceremonial events include firing at wooden birds - with the man to shoot the last piece away being crowned the king, as Mr von Heimendahl was three years ago.

Among the party, who also visited Sandringham House and took part in a local clay pigeon shoot, was the Wolfgang Orlowski, the son of a man who was a prisoner of war in Norfolk.

His father Helmut was held in Fakenham and worked clearing barbed wire from local beaches and farmland.

Mr von Heimendahl said: 'He is blind and was unable to come but he always says he was well treated in Norfolk. He never suffered, had enough to eat and even had a local girlfriend before he was demobbed home.'