The Royal Army Physical Training Corps
The men and women of the RAPTC keep the British Army “Fighting Fit and Fit to Fight”. Each of its members is a physical Training instructor and they are attached to every major unit of the British Army.
The Corps was formed in 1860 as the Army Gymnastic Staff. Instructors led the troops in gymnastics and battle drill and were soon credited with a significant improvement in fitness levels.
During the World Wars the Corps played an important role in training the many new recruits, as well ensuring that trained soldiers remained in fighting condition. Instructors also trained specialist units such as parachutists and often followed them into action, serving with distinction under enemy fire.
Since the end of WW2, members of the Corps have deployed with British Forces on around the World and play an important role in physical fitness, Adventure Training and exercise rehabilitation programmes. In 2010 the Corps was awarded its Royal title in recognition of its 150 years’ of service.
The RAPTC Museum is based “behind the wire” at the Army School of Physical Training in Aldershot and tells the story of the RAPTC from 1860 to the present day.
Through interactive and static displays, the Museum shows how physical training in the British Army has advanced from the first organised lessons to modern concepts of fitness and physical training.
It houses a substantial collection of medals, uniforms, weapons, paintings and historic training equipment from throughout the Corps’ history. Residing at the home of the RAPTC, the Museum maintains close ties with the Corps of today and displays many of the trophies awarded each year to its members
The Museum also displays a collection of sporting and Olympic memorabilia from members of the Corps such as sprinter Kris Akabusi and football player and manager Sir Matt Busby who have competed at the highest sporting level.
The Museum is a registered charity and is accredited by Arts Council England.
Visiting the Museum
Entrance to the Museum is free.
The Museum is open Monday – Friday 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm, except Christmas and bank holidays. Please contact the Curator to check opening times. Special openings are possible by arrangement.
As the Museum is based on a working military site, all adult visitors are required to bring photo ID to gain entrance to the Museum
Children are very welcome at the Museum; they can test their RAPTC knowledge with our kid’s quiz and have a go at dressing up as a WW1 soldier!
The Museum has disabled access and toilet facilities on site.
Where we are
Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum
Fox Lines, Queen’s Avenue
Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2LB
The Museum is easily reached by road and free parking is available outside.
The Number 1 bus between Aldershot and Old Dean stops close to the Museum entrance.
The nearest train stations to the Museum are North Camp and Aldershot.
Connect with the Museum
If you would like to find out more about the Museum the Curator can be reached in the following ways:
Telephone: 01252 787 852
If you would like more information about what the Museum is doing then you can follow or contact us via our Social Media accounts
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The Museum maintains a large archive and photographic collection, including personal documents and historical papers relating to physical training in the army. The reference library holds material relating to sporting history and development and physical training. Visits to use the library and archive are welcome but an appointment is necessary.
The Museum is willing to conduct a reasonable amount of research on behalf of applicants. Please contact the Curator for further details. A fee of £20 is charged to meet the costs of carrying out this service.