National Army Museum

National Army Museum
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The National Army Museum is a leading authority on the British Army and its impact on society past and present.

We examine the army's role as protector, aggressor and peacekeeper from the British Civil Wars to the modern day. Through our collections we preserve and share stories of ordinary people with extraordinary responsibilities. We explore the role of the army and its relevance today.
We aim to be a first class museum that moves, inspires, challenges, educates and entertains.

The National Army Museum is a fun, interactive space for all the family. Our engaging museum experience reaches out to all. We want to connect the British public with its army, regardless of age, gender, race and religion.
The new National Army Museum is for everyone, no matter what they think about the British Army.

So what's new? We now showcase the breadth and depth of our collections in new and engaging ways. We explore thoughts and ideas as well as real stories of real people. And we challenge the way people think about the British Army and their relationship with it.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive

Opening hours

Open daily: 10am - 5.30pm
(Last admission: 5pm)

Closed: 25, 26 December and 1 January

Open until 8pm on the first Wednesday of every month.

Admission charges

Free of charge

Getting there

The National Army Museum is situated on Royal Hospital Road, directly next door to the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Rail
Victoria Station is a 20-minute walk from the Museum. You can find London Rail maps on the Transport for London website.

Tube
Sloane Square (Circle and District Lines) is a 10-minute walk from the Museum. You can find London Tube maps on the Transport for London website.

Bus
Several bus routes stop within walking distance of the Museum:

Routes 11, 19, 22, 211 and 319 (King's Road)
Routes C1, 137 and 360 (Chelsea Bridge Road)
Route 170 (Royal Hospital Road, stops directly in front of the Museum)

Collection details

Weapons and War, Social History, Photography, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Visit the National Army Museum and find out how Britain's past has helped to shape our present and our future. Discover the impact our Army has had on the story of Britain, Europe and the world, and see how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many.
  • See portraits by Reynolds and Gainsborough, a lamp used by Florence Nightingale and even the skeleton of Napoleon’s horse!
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Recce Racers

Christmas recce racers

  • 16 — 24 December 2017
  • 26 — 31 December 2017
  • 2 — 7 January 2018

At this family activity you’ll discover how the army uses vehicles for its reconnaissance missions. Have a go at making your own rubber-band powered vehicle and see how fast it will go on our track. Will your time be the one to beat?

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Admission

No booking is required.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/recce-racers

Abram Games

The life and work of Abram Games

  • 15 December 2017 From 11:30am

Abram Games was one of the 20th century’s most innovative and important graphic designers. He produced some of Britain’s most enduring images, which are a now a fascinating record of social history.

During the Second World War he was uniquely appointed Official War Poster Artist. It was Games’s personal philosophy of 'maximum meaning, minimum means' that gave his works their distinctive conceptual and visual quality.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:95

The West End Front: The Wartime Secrets of London's Grand Hotels

The West End Front: The Wartime Secrets of London's Grand Hotels

  • 20 December 2017 From 6:30pm

December’s Book of the Month is The Wartime Secrets of London’s Grand Hotels by Matthew Sweet.

Sweet draws a sumptuous, witty and eye-opening history of the Ritz, the Savoy, the Dorchester and Claridge's - and the eccentrics, stars, aristocrats and criminals living in London's grand hotels during the Blitz.

Explore our book of the month and unpack current issues, historical events and popular fiction through recent book releases related to the British Army.

Complimentary snacks and wine are served from 6.30pm.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:96

Women at war

Women at war

  • 22 December 2017 11:30am-12:30pm

Chelsea Pensioner, John Carbis, will discuss the experiences of three female out-pensioners in the 17th and 18th centuries : Hannah Snell, Dr James ‘Miranda’ Stuart Barry and Christian Davies.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking is recommended.

Website

http://Chelsea Pensioner, John Carbis, will discuss the experiences of three female out-pensioners in the 17th and 18th centuries : Hannah Snell, Dr James ‘Miranda’ Stuart Barry and Christian Davies.

President Wilson, 1919

'The World's Peace' - Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points

  • 5 January 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

On 8 January 1918, Woodrow Wilson, the president of the United States, set out his fourteen points to reform a world broken by the First World War. The US had entered the conflict the previous April as an associate power, and would be a major force in ending the war. Now, Wilson delivered his nation's blueprint for peace.

The president’s high idealism of open diplomacy, democracy, self-determination, disarmament and free trade was intended as an antidote to European imperial rivalry, nationalism and revolution. Yet within just over a year Wilson's plans were as broken and compromised as the world itself.

Graham Cross explores the story behind this famous speech that has come to define not only American war aims but also a whole tradition of national foreign policy. He also asks whether Wilson's aims were achievable or whether the president's idealism was foolhardy in the face of international diplomacy and domestic politics.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:101

Army gallery tour

Security and the army tour

  • 6 January 2018 2pm-2:30am

Take a free guided tour around the galleries exploring the topic of security and the army on the first Saturday of every month at 2.00pm.

In 2018 we’re looking at the army’s role in UK and world security throughout history. This monthly tour will highlight some of the objects and stories related to key moments and the people involved.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:103

The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection

The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection

  • 12 January 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection is a comprehensive set of books and pamphlets written in French on the subjects of the Second World War, the Occupation and the liberation, from 1944 to 1947.

Curator, Sophie Defrance, will highlight some of the treasures of the collection, particularly drawing on the voices of women.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:104

Recce racers late

Recce racers late

  • 17 January 2018 6-9pm

Test your observation skills on a recce of the museum, make a rubber-band-powered car to take home, and compete to make the best army vehicle out of a box of bricks.

We recommend that you come as a team. There are prizes for the winners!

Cash bar open all evening.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:107

Far East prisoner-of-war memoirs

Far East prisoner-of-war memoirs

  • 19 January 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

This talk will consider the memoirs of British prisoners of war of the Japanese - known as Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOWs) - and how their recollections may have been reshaped and distorted over time.

Lauren Cantillon presents evidence to suggest that the individual memory of many FEPOWs was eventually submerged by a 'collective' memory.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:106

Separated by war and genocide: Stories from the Wiener Library

Separated by war and genocide: Stories from the Wiener Library

  • 26 January 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

For Holocaust Memorial Day 2018, Dr Barbara Warnock of The Wiener Library, London, will give an illustrated talk drawn from the library’s rich collections of archival materials on Jewish refugees from Nazism.

She will use personal documents to tell the stories of some of those whose families were separated by fascism and war, including the story of a German-Jewish refugee who served in the British Army, and his father, trapped in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The Wiener Library, originally founded in 1933, is Britain’s national archive on the Holocaust. The library collects materials on the Nazi era, the Holocaust and other genocides.

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:105

Woman in book club

Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors

  • 31 January 2018 6:30-8pm

This month we will be discussing Curry: A tale of cooks and conquerors by Lizzie Collingham.

Come along and meet new people at an entertaining and informative evening of lively discussion unpacking current issues, historical events and popular fiction through book releases related to the British Army.

The Book Club meets on the last Wednesday of the month, from 7pm to 8pm. Complimentary snacks and wine are served from 6.30pm.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:102

Sgt Morris 1st Battalion Royal Welsh regiment

Soldiery preview

  • 31 January 2018 6-8pm

Portraitist Rory Lewis’s latest project, Soldiery, is a study of the British Army, taking inspiration from a selection of great historical painters.

Rory's aim was to capture the 21st-century army’s historical character and its proud legacy of diversity.

After the talk, there will be an opportunity to view the photographic display.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:108

The French invasion scare and the literature of fear in Britain, 1791-1805

‘The French invasion scare and the literature of fear in Britain, 1797-1805’

  • 2 February 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Focusing on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 poem ‘Fears in Solitude’, this talk will explore the ways in which feelings of fear, anxiety and terror were evoked at the prospect of a French invasion of Britain. Some pamphlets were funded by royalist associations to encourage volunteering among the masses, while others challenged this fearmongering.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:113

Security and the army tour

  • 3 February 2018 From 2pm

In 2018 we’re looking at the army’s role in UK and world security throughout history. This monthly tour will highlight some of the objects and stories related to key moments and the people involved.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/security-and-army-tour-1

Does violence win rights? Militant suffrage and the vote

  • 7 February 2018 From 6:30pm

As we mark 100 years of the Representation of the People Act, we’re bringing together a panel of experts to discuss whether violence can win rights, drawing on the militant suffrage campaign, and other examples of violent and non-violent campaigns.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/does-violence-win-rights-militant-suffrage-and-vote

The secret life of propaganda posters

  • 9 February 2018 From 11:30am

During the Second World War both the government and people were wary of propaganda, which was seen as totalitarian, un-British and tainted by its role in the First World War. Sources as diverse as London Transport and Bovril produced advertising aimed at rousing the national spirit, but the biggest source was the army, which arguably produced some of the best-known and most controversial images of the war.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/secret-life-propaganda-posters

Navigation challenge

  • 10 — 18 February 2018

Using a variety of craft materials and navigation skills, join us this half-term to create a map and a compass to navigate it with. Design mountains, rivers and seas. Imagine new species of weird and wonderful creatures and draw them a new home.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/navigation-challenge

Returning soldiers, citizenship and the vote during the First World War

  • 16 February 2018 From 11:30am

During the First World War some 5,700,000 men passed through the ranks of the British armed forces. Although they were often described as ‘citizen soldiers’, many of these men had never been eligible to vote in a Parliamentary election. This talk explores how the experience of war changed British understandings of political citizenship – for both men and women – and brought soldiers into parliamentary politics in new and important ways.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/returning-soldiers-citizenship-and-vote-during-first-world-war

LGBTQ+ experiences in the army

  • 21 February 2018 From 6:30pm

Eighteen years ago the ban on gay and lesbian citizens serving in the army was lifted. We’ve partnered with the Army LGBT Forum to bring together a panel of serving and veteran LGBTQ+ personnel to speak about their army experiences. We’ll ask them some questions, and then we’ll open it up to the audience.

Admission

£5

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/lgbtq-experiences-army

Book Club: Flashman, Sharpe and Harvey: Fictional British Army heroes

  • 28 February 2018 From 6:30pm

This month we will be discussing some well-known fictional British Army heroes – Flashman, Sharpe and Harvey. Come along and meet new people at an entertaining and informative evening of lively discussion unpacking current issues, historical events and popular fiction through book releases related to the British Army. The Book Club meets on the last Wednesday of the month, from 7pm to 8pm. Complimentary snacks and wine are served from 6.30pm.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/flashman-sharpe-and-harvey-fictional-british-army-heroes

A night time view of an SAS man on a weapons mounted vehicle

Special Forces: Out of the Shadows

  • 17 March — 18 November 2018

Founded during the Second World War, the Special Forces is made up of six elite units, each with a unique role in British security and military operations.

The exhibition looks at the work of these units and the extreme skills and total dedication needed to make the cut.

Uncover their hidden world from real-life events, such as the Iranian Embassy siege, to how they are portrayed in popular culture.

Admission

£8.00 adults, £4.00 children
£7.00 concessions

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/special-forces-out-shadows

Getting there

The National Army Museum is situated on Royal Hospital Road, directly next door to the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Rail
Victoria Station is a 20-minute walk from the Museum. You can find London Rail maps on the Transport for London website.

Tube
Sloane Square (Circle and District Lines) is a 10-minute walk from the Museum. You can find London Tube maps on the Transport for London website.

Bus
Several bus routes stop within walking distance of the Museum:

Routes 11, 19, 22, 211 and 319 (King's Road)
Routes C1, 137 and 360 (Chelsea Bridge Road)
Route 170 (Royal Hospital Road, stops directly in front of the Museum)

National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
London
Greater London
SW3 4HT
England

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

E-mail

General information

info@nam.ac.uk

Telephone

Information line

020 7881 6606

Switchboard

020 7730 0717

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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