Brief history of the S.R.A.M.A. – K.V.V.L.
Our association is more than a century old. It was born during the Brussels World Fair of 1910 thanks to a group of collectors, fascinated by “historical and military memorabilia”, as it was called at the time, who decided to lend items from their private collections in order to extend the military section of the world fair, which was previously dedicated, almost exclusively, to modern weapons. This initiative drew positive attention from the public and the authorities.
A year later, a royal decree (Belgian Official Gazette from 2nd March 1911) announces the creation of the Royal Army Museum (MRA), mentioning the “Society of Friends of The Royal Army Museum” as part of the museum’s managing committee.
Following the adoption of the non-profit organizations law from 27th June 1921, our association was incorporated as a non-profit organization (NPO) on 1st March 1925, under the name “The Fourragère” (Annexes of the Belgian Official Gazette from 21st May 1925). The newly incorporated association kept the initial goals from 1911 which remain valid today. It benefited from the high protection of His Majesty the King.
According to a letter dated 9th November 1950, the Royal Palace granted the association’s request to use the title of “Royal Society” and during the general assembly of 25th March 1965, the association decides to change its name to “Royal Society of Friends of The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History” (“Société royale des Amis du Musée royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire militaire / Koninklijke Vereniging der Vrienden van het Koninklijke Museum van het Leger en voor Krijgsgeschiedenis”), abbreviated: Friends of the Army Museum (Amis du Musée de l’Armée / Vrienden van het Legermuseum) and as the acronym S.R.A.M.A. – K.V.V.L.
War Heritage Institute
The Royal Army Museum joined the War Heritage Institute (WHI) following legislation which was passed on 28th April 2017. The WHI is a Belgian federal body under public law which unites several organisations:
– Royal Army Museum
– The national memorial of Fort Breendonk
– The veterans institute – National institute of disabled war veterans
– Veterans and Victims of War (IV-INIG)
– Department of Defence Historical Centre
The goal of the WHI is to promote military heritage and the preservation of the memory of armed conflicts involving Belgians, both locally and abroad.