Exploring History

Reggie the Doll – Spotlight Objects

Posted on: December 8, 2023

We asked our visitors a question:

What was your favourite part of the museum?

For one visitor, that was a little red doll with an unexpected story. We’d like to share some of the things that made your experiences, whether they be weird, wonderful, or moving. To do just that, we’ve created a new series:

Spotlight Objects

Introducing, Reggie the Doll. He was found in Normandy, France in 1944. Guardsman ‘Sherry’ Sharrard had deployed here as part of the Normandy Campaign, ‘Operation Goodwood’, as a soldier of the Guards Armoured Division. Their role was to provide additional mechanised forces in the war effort – tanks and armoured vehicles – as this was looking to be the face of modern warfare. 

Read more about the Guards Armoured Division here and here.

Picture Sharrard, driving through Normandy in his tank. He was being extra cautious, as the area was known for its hidden mines and traps. This was when he spotted a doll, abandoned and alone in the road. Naturally, he became suspicious.

Could this seemingly innocuous toy be another trap, set to cause him harm? He decided not to take that chance, and formulated a plan to throw rocks and scraps at the doll from a safe distance away. Then, he waited for an explosion.

None came.

Sharrard decided he was safe, and this was when Reggie gained his name. Sharrard had decided to keep him. Reggie hung in Sharrard’s tank, becoming a companion for him throughout the rest of his service.

Reggie must have been beloved, as he made it back home and now sits here 80 years later along with some of Sharrard’s other belongings. Come and visit him yourself in the museum!