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.
War Paint

War Paint exhibition tour

  • 22 October 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 5 November 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 19 November 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

A member of the West Indies Auxiliary Territorial Service

Women soldiers tour

  • 4 November 2017 2:30-3pm
  • 2 December 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 guest tour: Emma Mawdsley

War Paint guest tour: Emma Mawdsley

  • 18 October 2017 From 6:30pm *on now

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.

Curator Emma Mawdsley will guide you round the exhibition and discuss her experience of putting the exhibition together.

Admission

£12.00
Concessions: £9.00

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:80

Bold in her breeches: Female soldiers who dressed as men

Bold in her breeches: Female soldiers who dressed as men

  • 20 October 2017 From 11:30am

From the eighteenth century onwards, women such as Christian Davies, Hannah Snell, Mary Talbot and Sara Edmonds, swapped their skirts for trousers to enlist in the army and navy. Over the last few decades historians have uncovered the lives of these women who not only fought alongside their male comrades but whose exploits on the battlefields have been largely forgotten.

This talk will provide details about cases of female-to-male cross-dressers, exploring how and why women signed up, what they experienced at war, and what became of them once they returned home.

Admission

Free.
Booking is recommended.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:81

Painted masks

Camouflage Masks

  • 21 — 29 October 2017

Come and test your creative skills in a camouflage mask making workshop. Be inspired by the natural world to try and make a mask to take home. Sneak like a spotty leopard in the desert, prowl like a white Arctic fox and explore how the army uses camouflage in different environments.

Drop in for free from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm daily.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

FREE

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/camouflage-masks

Book Club: Caught in the Revolution

Book Club: Caught in the Revolution

  • 25 October 2017 From 6:30pm

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.
Booking is recommended.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:82

Aden Emergency

Aden Emergency

  • 27 October 2017 From 11:30am

On the 50th anniversary of the British withdrawal from Aden, author and historian Jonathan Walker looks at the controversial military campaign and its legacy.

In the 1960s, Britain’s only Arab colony became a battleground of the Cold War as British forces struggled to defend one of the last bastions of the Empire. Many regiments rose to the challenge but Aden was also the graveyard of military and political careers.

Admission

Free.
Booking is recommended.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:84

War Paint after hours

War Paint after hours

  • 1 November 2017 5:30-8:30pm

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.

At this free late event, explore our War Paint exhibition after hours, meet some of the artists featured, and have a go at some of the artistic techniques that appear in the exhibition.

Programme from 6pm – 8pm:

Meet the artists
Create a wire sculpture
Stitch a map notebook
Sketch the Desert Rat

Admission

Free
booking recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:83

Medals being awarded

Strike it lucky: Award and recognition in the British and Indian Army

  • 3 November 2017 From 10:30am

Two centuries ago, the Waterloo Medal recognised for the first time the individual acts of all soldiers in a conflict regardless of their rank or role, though other institutions had been awarding medals well before.

Join curator Chris Cooper as he explores the museum's collection of medals and medal ribbons, revealing a story that is about extraordinary feats, ordinary lives and striking anomalies.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:85

Remembrance later

Remembrance Late

  • 8 November 2017 6-8pm

Listen to poetry and write your own in response to Remembrance. There will be recitals from local school children, special guests, and an open mic session for visitors to share their own responses.

If you’re new to poetry and the spoken word, drop in to one of our writing workshops running throughout the evening.

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:97

Disputed Earth

Disputed Earth: Geology and trench warfare on the Western Front, 1914-18

  • 10 November 2017 From 11:30am

Geology the outcome of battle, and no more so than during the trench warfare of the Great War. An understanding of terrain has been the mark of a great commander from at least the time of Sun Tzu, and most campaigns can be interpreted and understood from this standpoint. It is the Great War, a war of trenches and dug-outs, of mines and mud, that epitomises the struggles of commander and soldier alike in the prosecution of battle against the obstacles set for them by terrain.

This talk based on Peter Doyle’s recent book, takes the geology of northern France and Flanders and examines such issues as: What created Flanders mud? How were the Germans able to dig deep dug-outs to resist the British on the Somme? And, why were the British successful at mine warfare? These and other issues are dealt with in this illustrated talk.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:86

Female soldiers

Women soldiers: An international perspective

  • 15 November 2017 From 7pm

In this panel discussion, female representatives from armies around the world share their experiences of serving. The speakers will be asked questions by a museum curator, and we will then open up the floor to questions from the audience.

Speakers:

Second Lieutenant Rosie Wild (British Army)

Colonel Daisy Tshiloane (South Africa)

Lieutenant Colonel Katherine Lee (New Zealand)

Admission

£7.50
Concessions: -25%

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:87

Summit of mount kopfach

The British Army in the Italian Alps, 1917

  • 17 November 2017 From 11:30am

The British Army fought in theatres across the world from the Middle East and Africa to Asia and the Pacific. One of the theatres often forgotten is the Italian Front.

For two years Italy and Austria battled fiercely against each other across the High Alps and troops from both sides faced the risk of avalanche. When German troops arrived to bolster Austria in the summer of 1917, the British and French soon followed to support Italy.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:88

Archive shelves

Archives weekend: Behind the scenes tours

  • 18 November 2017 From 11am, From 4pm

Have you ever wondered what an archive looks like? Join our Study Centre manager, Robert Fleming, as he reveals some of the hidden treasures in our archives and explains how they are catalogued and stored. He’ll also give you some tips on how to look after your precious items at home.

Tours take place at 11am and 2pm.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:90

A child drawing at a workshop

Archives weekend: Archive detectives

  • 18 November 2017 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-4pm
  • 19 November 2017 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-4pm

Become a detective and take part in our family workshop, uncovering some artefacts and stories from the museum’s archives. Can you put all the pieces together to solve the puzzle?

Open all weekend. Drop in from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm.

Admission

FREE

A National Army Museum flyer

Archive Weekend: Treasures from the institutional archives

  • 19 November 2017 From 2pm

Penny shares stories and images tucked away in the museum’s institutional archives, spanning from the 1960s to the present day.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:89

Sevastopol's Wars book cover

Sevastopol's Wars: Crimea from Potemkin to Putin

  • 24 November 2017 From 11:30am

Founded by Catherine the Great, the maritime city of Sevastopol has been fought over for centuries. Crucial battles of the Crimean War (1854-56) were fought on the hills surrounding the city, and the memory of this stalwart defence inspired those who battled the Germans during the Second World War (1939-45).

Award-winning author Mungo Melvin will explore how Sevastopol became a crucible of conflict in three major wars - the Crimean War, the Russian Civil War (1919-23) and the Second World War.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:91

Nurses of Passchendaele book cover

Book Club: The Nurses of Passchendaele

  • 29 November 2017 From 6:30pm

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=413:92

First World War artillery gun

Communications and the Battle of Cambrai

  • 1 December 2017 From 11:30am

Although a strategic failure, the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917 heralded tactical and operational methods that foreshadowed not only some of the war-winning techniques employed by the British Army in August-November 1918, but also elements of the initial German campaigns of the Second World War.

Brian Hall examines the battle from the perspective of communications, assessing its influence upon the fighting and, ultimately, upon the British Army’s learning process.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:93

Recce Racers

Recce racers

  • 2 — 3 December 2017 10:30am-4:30pm
  • 9 — 10 December 2017 10:30am-4:30pm
  • 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

An army dental surgery

Dental services in the British Army, 1914-18

  • 8 December 2017 From 11:30am

At the outbreak of the First World War there was insufficient dental provision for serving military personnel. However, the pain of toothache and the inability to chew food was debilitating and demoralising for the British soldier. This talk will explore the state of the nation’s teeth and the treatments available at the time.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:94

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.

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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