telephone : 01285 582998
Painting by Peter Archer
Corporal Thomas Waters's Military Medal
Go to it!
The Royal Signals Museum, in Blandford Camp, in Dorset, is the national museum of Army communications and the exhibits and displays show the part that communications have played in the many wars and campaigns of the last 150 years. The museum had an existing exhibit, a diorama of Corporal Thomas Waters winning a Military Medal during operations in France, on D-Day.
Xor Systems was approached to add drama and excitement to the diorama, improve the case holding the diorama and add a commentary.
Xor Systems provided three control buttons, mounted on a display panel on the front of the case, to allow visitors to hear the story of D-Day. Each button tells a different part of the story. The tale is told with archive recordings made on the day, mixed in with commentary that describes the action. Finally, Corporal Waters' citation is read out.
Puppeteer is controlled by the three buttons and it stores the commentary files. The files are replayed according to which button is pressed. During the description of the events for which Corporal Waters was awarded his medal, lighting and sound effects are used to add drama to the story. Small lights are used to depict explosions and gun fire, adding to the tale.
In addition, Xor Systems rehoused the whole diorama in a new case, with an attractive acrylic lid providing an uncluttered view of the scene. Puppeteer and the electronics are housed within the case.
Xor Systems 01285 582998
Royal Signals Museum 01258 482248 or visit their web site at http://www.royalsignals.army.org.uk/default.htm
Xor’s Puppeteer was used to control the lighting and sound effects for the diorama. The diorama shows the bridge over the Caen canal, with the gliders used in the operation on the opposite bank. Corporal Waters is shown sprinting across the bridge, carrying the line link, the essential communciation link to Brigade HQ. His comrades are shown by the cafe on the near bank, pinned down by fire from the defending German forces.
The bridge had been secured in just 19 minutes after the landing had taken place. The line link was laid across the bridge and was repeatedly cut during the day that followed. Corporal Waters repeatedly crossed the bridge to repair the line, even though his life was in danger each time he did so.
For this action, he was awarded the Military Medal. The medal was instituted on 25th March 1916 and was awarded to NCOs and men of the Army for individual or associated acts of bravery. The deed had to be witnessed by an officer. It was not awarded posthumously.
Xor’s ‘Puppeteer’ is ideal for this kind of work. It is a simple computer designed to respond to signals from the real world – pressure, touch, light, movement etc.. It adds interest, life and drama to games, through the judicious use of sound and other sensory stimulants such as light, smell and smoke. Puppeteer has the added advantage of being easily reprogrammed (from a distance) to change the effects on a daily basis if needed!
‘Puppeteer‘ is programmed in Java and is capable of storing complex affects as standard WAV files as used on a Windows PC. The combination of the exhibition design skills of the Royal Signals Museum and the computing and electronic skills of Xor Systems resulted in an unusually effective display.