The Ashton Armoury Museum, a 39 Service Battalion Regimental Museum, is located in the LGen E.C. Ashton Armoury, 724 Vanalman Ave, Victoria, was established in 1994 to maintain, honour and promote the history of 11 Service Battalion, now 11 Company, 39 Service Battalion. The museum also honours the history and heritage of co-located Signal, Medical and Military Police units, and their Canadian Armed Forces Branches and predecessor Army Corps.
The museum portrays the history of these units and their respective branches and corps that have provided the support necessary to sustain combat forces on the field of battle and during peace time operations. They are, to borrow an old expression, the tinkers, tailors, butchers and bakers of the Army.
The museum serves to connect serving soldiers with what their predecessors accomplished. For civilians who have not seen military service, the exhibits show how terrible war can be and how much is owed to those who endured it. It helps remind people that the freedoms we take for granted have sometimes been bought with blood, sweat and tears.
The museum is a secure, well-managed, appreciative repository for military and related memorabilia preserved and displayed for current and future generations. To be able to do this properly, we must store the majority of collections in artifact friendly storage facilities, protecting them from light, dust, excessive humidity and temperature, and handling. If you, a family member or friend has donated something to our Museums, and you do not see it on display, chances are it is being held in storage for future generations to learn from and enjoy. Even exhibiting a uniform for a few months will damage the fragile textile, and fade the brilliant colors found on most military uniforms.
The museum has a total of 15 vehicles in its collection, 11 which can be seen in action around town, during parades and at the annual Fort Rodd Hill’s Military Encampment. It also has thousands of artifacts from past conflicts and peacekeeping operations, including the Zulu War of the 19th century, the First and Second World Wars, Korean War and numerous United Nations’ peacekeeping operations.
Located in a working armoury, the museum’s displays are spread throughout the building, with some of the vehicles parked outside. From a World War 1 trench dug-out to mannequins displaying uniforms from many eras, to memorabilia from various peace-keeping operations, the collection gives a good overview of the work of those personnel who supported the fighting soldiers.
The museum operates in accordance with the policies and procedures contained in the Ashton Armoury Museum Policy and Procedures Manual (2022).
The LGen E.C. Ashton Armoury Museum strives; for excellence in the acquisition, preservation, interpretation, and presentation of historical artifacts associated with the resident Ashton Armoury units as part of the military heritage of Canada; and to provide visitors “hands-on” opportunities where possible.
Director: Bart Dennis
Associate Director: Wayne Dauphinee
Archivist and Senior Researcher: Ted Leaker
Curator Vintage Vehicles: Tom Leblanc
Curator Communications: Paul McNeill
Co-Curators Militaria: Nancy & Wayne Dauphinee
Co-Curators Weapons: Colin Wyatt & Peter Laursen
The Museum is financially supported by:
- Government of British Columbia:
- National Defence Canada Directorate of History and Heritage:
- Private donations; and
- Museum Shop sales.
The LGen E.C. Ashton Armoury Museum is a member of:
- The Organization of Military Museums of Canada
- The British Columbia Museums Association
- The Canadian Museums Association
- Tourism Victoria
- The Greater Victoria Military Museums and Historic Sites Working Group
LGen E.C. Ashton Armoury Museum
724 Vanalman Ave
Victoria, BC V8Z 3B5
Telephone: (250) 363-8346