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The Sandhurst Collection

The Sandhurst Collection was established in 1970 to provide an atmosphere of military tradition, to help instil in officer cadets the military ethos, to provide training support to the cadet companies and departments of the Academy, and to preserve the archives of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).

To fulfil these aims, the Curator ensures that the public areas of the Academy, as well as anterooms and offices, are decorated with military pictures and other objects, and issues items from the collection to cadets and members of staff for use as training aids. He also maintains the historic archive which contains records about the history of the Academy and its predecessors from 1741 to the present day.

One resident of the Sandhurst Collection is Edward Bear, a 14-inch high brown teddy bear who has served for almost the entire life of the present Academy. He was enlisted as the mascot of the RMAS Parachuting Club in 1950 and proved instantly popular. The club was renamed the Edward Bear Club and it adopted an emblem of a teddy bear suspended from a parachute.

Membership of the club was confined to officer cadets who completed the course that qualified them as army parachutists, so in order to qualify for membership, Edward Bear was given the honorary title of officer cadet (later raised to that of Senior Under Officer (SUO)) and took part in all courses and airborne exercises in which club members took part.

He made his 400th parachute descent on 28 May 1971 using his own small silk parachute supplied by the RAF in 1961. The Camberley branch of Messrs Moss Bros supplied him with a specially made camouflage pattern smock. Attached to this are the badges of various UK and allied special forces with whom he has jumped over the years.

SUO Bear now resides with the Sandhurst Collection but still takes part in airborne or other adventurous training on the rare occasions when he is invited to do so.

You can tour Sandhurst and explore the Collection on the Sandhurst Collection website.

To make an enquiry about the history of Sandhurst, contact the Curator, Dr Anthony Morton using the Contact us form.

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