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!
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
War Paint

War Paint: Brushes with conflict

  • 30 March — 19 November 2017 *on now

Explore why artists and soldiers have painted scenes of conflict, in our first temporary exhibition at the new National Army Museum.

Artists and soldiers have painted scenes of conflict for many reasons - to create records, report news or commemorate events. But above all, war paintings are personal perspectives on war and its vast impact on people and places.

War Paint features over 130 paintings and objects exploring the complex relationship between war and the men and women who map, record, celebrate and document it.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/war-paint-brushes-conflict

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.
A member of the West Indies Auxiliary Territorial Service

Women soldiers tour

  • 5 August 2017 2:30-3pm
  • 2 September 2017 2:30-3pm

In 1917 the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was founded. This was the first time women could join the army outside of nursing roles. Since then there have been a number of developments for women in the army, culminating in last year's lifting of the ban on women in combat roles.

Join us for a 30-minute guided tour of the galleries exploring the theme of women in the army.

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/women-soldiers-tour-1

War Paint

War Paint exhibition tour

  • 30 July 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 13 August 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 27 August 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 10 September 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 24 September 2017 From 2:30pm

Artists paint places of conflict for many reasons - recording locations, reporting news and commemorating events. But these images also offer personal perspectives on war and its impact on land and people.

During this tour, we'll discuss the purposes behind painting war and highlight some of the techniques used to paint during conflict.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:13

Brompton Cemetery

Walking Tour: Beyond the battlefield

  • 12 August 2017 10:15am-12:30pm

Led by guides from Brompton Cemetary and the National Army Museum, this unique walking tour will uncover the personal stories behind cemetery monuments, linking them with the National Army Museum’s unique collections, and highlighting the historic relationship between Chelsea and the military.

Where

Brompton Cemetery
Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London
SW5 9JH

Admission

£10.00
£7.50 concessions.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/walking-tour-beyond-battlefield

Constrution with wooden blocks

Construction challenge

  • 22 July — 3 September 2017 *on now

This is a construction challenge with a difference. We’ll be transforming our spaces into different environments to explore how the army adapts to its surroundings. From the jungle to the North Pole, use our stack of wooden construction planks to create a structure that won’t topple over.

Drop in anytime between 10.15am and 4pm to take part in a free session. No booking is required.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Booking is not required.

Visitors reading

Book Club: Britain’s Europe

  • 26 July 2017 7-8pm

This month we will be discussing Brendan Simms’ book Britain’s Europe. Come along and meet new people at an entertaining and informative evening of lively discussion. Explore our book of the month and unpack current issues, historical events and popular fiction through recent book releases related to the British Army.

The Book Club meets on the last Wednesday of the month, from 7pm to 8pm. Refreshments are available from 6.30pm.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/book-club-britains-europe

Canvas pencil roll

Hands-on War Paint: Drawing with wire

  • 26 July 2017 7am-8:30pm

During this workshop, we’ll be examining ‘FV432 with Cymbeline radar, AE Bty, Sanski Most’ (1996) by J Hugh L Beattie, one of the paintings featured in our War Paint exhibition.

We’ll begin with a discussion about the painting, exploring the presentation of the artwork, its historical and political context, the use of wire within warfare and an introduction into drawing with wire. We’ll then use wire as a drawing medium to create a continuous line drawing inspired by the wire seen in Beattie’s painting. All levels are welcome. Materials will be provided. The workshop runs from 7pm to 8.30p

Admission

£5.00
25% Student discount (with valid ID).

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/hands-war-paint-drawing-wire

Stereoscopic photograph, "In the firing line at Passchendaele"

Passchendaele: 100 years on

  • 28 July 2017 11:30am-12:30pm

For 100 years, the Third Battle of Ypres - more commonly known as Passchendaele - has epitomised for many the horror and futility of the First World War. The popular perception is of a battle fought knee-deep in mud and water, with British and Commonwealth troops sacrificed by stubborn commanders for useless gains.

Dr Lloyd will discuss another side to the campaign, the little-known middle phase of the fighting between 20 September and 4 October 1917, when a series of major offensives brought the German Army to the brink of defeat. Dr Nick Lloyd is a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King's College London.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/passchendaele-100-years

Indian troops

The World Wars and India’s independence

  • 4 August 2017 11:30am-12:30pm

During the first half of the 20th century, Indians increasingly expected self-government to be granted in return for their contributions to the World Wars. This was also a time when the legitimacy of British rule was being called into question by the Indian National Movement.

Lionel Knight will explore how the World Wars changed the relationship between Britain and India, and how they led to the breaking of Britain's 'will to rule'. Lionel Knight is the author of Britain in India, 1858-1947. He is the retired Head of History and Politics at the City of London School.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/world-wars-and-indias-independence

Photograph of Mountbatten talking to Indian soldiers, 1945

India’s independence tour

  • 4 August 2017 From 2am
  • 18 August 2017 From 2am
  • 25 August 2017 From 2am

2017 is the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, leading to the creation of Pakistan and the end of British rule in India.

The story of India’s journey towards independence is closely linked with its relationship with the British Army. From the Indian Mutiny in 1857 to the contribution of Indian soldiers in the First and Second World Wars, Britain and India continued to try and forge a relationship that finally broke down in 1947.

Join us for a 30-minute guided tour of the galleries exploring the theme of British-Indian relations.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:73

Visitor viewing a book from the archive

ID your stuff

  • 7 August 2017 2-4pm

Have you had some medals passed down to you and want to know how to care for them? Are you struggling to identify a relative’s regiment from a photograph? Do you want to start researching your family history?

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/id-your-stuff-0

Visitors at an event

India’s independence late

  • 9 August 2017 6:30-9:30pm

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India and we’re looking at its impact on contemporary and modern society through artistic responses.

Join us for a special evening including live performances, poetry recitals, creative workshops and delicious Indian food. We’ll be showcasing our extensive Indian Army collection through guided tours of the museum and bringing objects out of storage for a unique viewing opportunity.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/indias-independence-late

Indian troop inspection

British generals and Indian independence

  • 11 August 2017 11:30am

Drawing upon the papers of General Sir Reginald Savory, General Sir Rob Lockhart and General Sir Roy Bucher, Alastair will examine the role played by each of these army commanders during the Partition of India in 1947-48.

Alistair Massie is the Head of Academic Access at the National Army Museum.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/british-generals-and-indian-independence

Pandit Nehru being greeted by British officers in Razmak

Partition of India : 70 years on

  • 18 August 2017 From 11:30am

In this talk, Cathy Coombs will consider the decades leading up to independence and the nature of British rule in India, drawing out some of the key events which led up to the decisions made in 1947. Cathy will also speak on the experience of those in the region of Punjab, split in two on 14 and 15 August 1947, to consider the consequences of these events for India, Pakistan, and Britain.

Dr Cathy Coombs is Lecturer in History at the University of Leeds.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:52

Artwork by Michael Crossen

War Paint guest tour: Michael Crossen

  • 23 August 2017 6:30-7:30pm

During this special one-hour tour, Michael Crossan will take you round the exhibition and discuss what it’s like to be a war artist.

Learn about how his experience in the army has influenced his artwork and practice over time. Michael served in West Berlin and the UK. Just a few years ago he was living in a hostel for homeless veterans in East London.

Admission

£12.00
£9.00 concessions

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/war-paint-guest-tour-michael-crossan

Refugees

Refugees from the Partition of India

  • 25 August 2017 11:30am-12:30pm

2017 is the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India. A time of huge upheaval, leading to the mass migration of over 13 million people. Travelling for hundreds of miles across borders, leaving their homes and most of their belongings behind, refugees were split by religion and resettled in new countries.

To mark the anniversary, we’re bringing together a panel of experts to discuss the impact that refugees have had on the story of the Partition of India.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/refugees-partition-india

Visitors at an event

Book Club: The Great Partition

  • 30 August 2017 6:30-8pm

This month we will be discussing Yasmin Khan’s book The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan. August’s Book of the Month examines the context, execution, and aftermath of Partition, weaving together local politics and ordinary lives with the larger political forces at play. Come along and meet new people at an entertaining and informative evening of lively discussion.

Explore our book of the month and unpack current issues, historical events and popular fiction through recent book releases related to the British Army. The Book Club meets on the last Wednesday of the month, from 7pm to 8pm. Refreshments are available from 6.30pm.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/book-club-great-partition

Afghanistan service medals

Hands-on War Paint: Ribbons and medals

  • 30 August 2017 7-8:30pm

We’ll begin with a discussion about ribbons and medals in the War Paint exhibition, exploring their historical and political context, and introduce how they are designed and made. Then we’ll have a go at using some of the techniques, such as cutting and stitching, to create a medal ribbon inspired by those on display in the War Paint exhibition. All levels are welcome. Materials will be provided. The workshop runs from 7pm to 8.30pm.

Admission

£5.00
25% Student discount (with valid ID).

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/hands-war-paint-ribbons-and-medals

Masculinity and the British Army officer

Masculinity and the British Army officer

  • 1 September 2017 From 11:30am

During the 18th century, recurrent wars with France had promoted a conception of British national identity as martial and masculine. Yet many officers who served with the British Army during this period would find it difficult to live up to their manly ideals.

Drawing on the rich collection of personal writings by officers in our archives, Dr Catriona Kennedy will explore how martial masculinity was practised and understood from 1793 to 1815.

Dr Catriona Kennedy is a Senior Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History and Director of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York.

Admission

Free

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:57

The long road to India’s independence

The long road to India’s independence

  • 2 September 2017 10am-5pm

This tumultuous event signalled the end of Britain’s rule over India. On 28 February 1948, the British Army’s presence in India was officially withdrawn and the British Indian Army Regiments were split between the newly created Pakistan Army and the Indian Army.

The Partition of India was the end of a long journey towards independence from Britain. It marks not only the breakdown of the relationship between Britain and India, but also relationships within the Indian subcontinent.

Separated along religious lines, Muslims were forced to move to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs to India, leaving behind the lives they had built at a moment’s notice.

This one-day conference will cover a variety of viewpoints and issues of geography, history, art and culture, politics, and literature. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Admission

Free

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:58

What the WAACs did next

What the WAACs did next

  • 8 September 2017 From 11:30am

For some members of the WAAC the end of their war service meant returning to a pre-war job, or perhaps taking on a domestic role as a wife and mother. For others, working for the army provided new personal and professional opportunities in the post-war years.

Alison will use service records, press reports, personal writings and the publications of the WAAC Old Comrades Association in order to trace the trajectories of some of these women.

Professor Alison Fell teaches and researches women's experiences during and after the First World War at the University of Leeds.

Admission

Free

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:59

Masculinity late

Masculinity late

  • 13 September 2017 From 6:30pm

What does it mean to be a man in the army? Are army men the epitome of masculinity? At this late, we’re exploring how our understanding of masculinity is influenced by the army.

Admission

£12

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:60

Alcohol, drugs and lucky charms

Alcohol, drugs and lucky charms

  • 15 September 2017 From 11:30am

Napoleon’s troops took hashish in Egypt. Soldiers of the Crimean War became addicted to opiates. And in the First World War the British army re-introduced the rum ration.

Throughout the 20th century, European and American fighting troops also smoked heavily and sometimes used more benign ways of coping with wartime stress, such as carrying cards, lucky charms and amulets.

Dr Fiona Reid, Associate Head of Humanities at the University of South Wales, asks whether these types of coping mechanisms are useful for helping men deal with the demands of conflict. At what point does self-medication become destructive? And what role should the army play in monitoring and controlling substance abuse?

Admission

Free

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:61

Open House London

Open House London

  • 16 — 17 September 2017 10:30am-4:30pm

Saturday programme
Designing the new National Army Museum
16 September 2017, 2pm – 2.45pm

Join architects Verity Rowsell and David Artis for a 45-minute discussion on how they designed the new museum.
Architect tours
16 September 2017, 10.30am and 1pm

Join architects Verity Rowsell and David Artis for a 25-minute tour of the new National Army Museum.
Build your own museum
16 September 2017, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Have a go at building your own version of the National Army Museum using wooden planks. Create a sculpture, like our Desert Rat, to display in your museum.
Sunday programme
Installing the new National Army Museum
17 September 2017, 2pm – 2.45pm

Join collections team members Terri Dendy and Vicky Singleton for a 45-minute discussion on the challenge of decanting a museum, and reinstalling 2,500 objects into the new one.

Architect tours
17 September 2017, 10.30am and 1pm

Join architects Verity Rowsell and David Artis for a 25-minute tour of the new National Army Museum.
Build your own museum
17 September 2017, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Have a go at building your own version of the National Army Museum using wooden planks. Create a sculpture, like our Desert Rat, to display in your museum.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/open-house-london

War Paint guest tour: Anna Marazuela Kim

War Paint guest tour: Anna Marazuela Kim

  • 20 September 2017 From 6:30pm

Dr Anna Marazuela Kim is a visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies (UCL) and is an expert on the complex relationship between images and ethics. She will lead a tour of War Paint focusing on how and why certain imagery is used in different artistic mediums.

Admission

£12.00
Concessions: £9.00

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:64

Poetry and prose by women in the First World War

Poetry and prose by women in the First World War

  • 22 September 2017 From 11:30am

Using her anthology, ‘War Girls’, Ruth Sillers will explore the often deeply moving and largely unsung experiences of women in the First World War, told in their own words.

Through poetry, journals and letters, Ruth's performance will uncover the contribution made by women from all walks of society – from campaigning for peace to working on the home front and in the services.

Admission

Free

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:65

Hands-on War Paint: Typography

Hands-on War Paint: Typography

  • 27 September 2017 7-8pm

Taking inspiration from the poster ‘Battle Sketches’ by Lt H Harry Sheldon featured in the exhibition, this workshop will begin with a discussion about the historical and political context of the poster. You will then employ typography techniques using drawing, stencilling and collage to create your own poster.

All levels are welcome. Materials will be provided. The workshop runs from 7pm to 8pm.

Admission

£5.00
25% Student discount (with valid ID).

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:67

 Book Club: Readers' choice

Book Club: Readers' choice

  • 27 September 2017 From 6:30pm

Come along and meet new people at an entertaining and informative evening of lively discussion. Explore our book of the month and unpack current issues, historical events and popular fiction through recent 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.

Admission

Free

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:66

Treating trauma in First World War nurses

Treating trauma in First World War nurses

  • 29 September 2017 From 11:30am

Soldiers were not the only ones to experience ‘shell shock’ during the First World War. Dr Denise Poynter argues that the notion of war-induced traumatic neurosis being the preserve of men is a pretence, and that the previous focus on male sufferers means the history of the condition is incomplete.

Dr Poynter will fill this gap in the research by outlining the experiences, symptoms and treatment of war trauma experienced by female nurses in the First World War.

Admission

Free

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:68

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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