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

  • 2 September 2017 2:30-3pm
  • 7 October 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

  • 27 August 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 10 September 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 24 September 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 8 October 2017 From 2:30pm
  • 22 October 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

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.

Photograph of Mountbatten talking to Indian soldiers, 1945

India’s independence tour

  • 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

Artwork by Michael Crossen

War Paint guest tour: Michael Crossen

  • 23 August 2017 6:30-7:30pm *on now

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

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

 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

War Stories with Peter Snow and Ann Macmillan

War Stories with Peter Snow and Ann Macmillan

  • 4 October 2017 From 7pm

War Stories provides a fascinating account of ordinary people swept up by the horror of war. They are caught up in the most extreme ordeal humans have to endure: their experiences are the stuff of legend. This is the story - much of it unwritten until now - of the men and women who have pushed the barriers of bravery, suffering and sheer terror beyond the imaginable.

The 31 stories from history since the 18th century include that of Edward Seager who was an officer in the Charge of the Light Brigade, Christine Skarbek, a spy and saboteur during the Second World War, Benedict Arnold, a US turncoat in the War of Independence and Madeleine de Lancey who nursed her dying husband after the Battle of Waterloo.

The most recent War Story is that of Ahmad Terkawi, a Syrian chemist who managed to escape from Homs with his family and survived a terrifying tourney on foot, boat and bus to arrive in Sweden in 2015.

Admission

£15.00
Concession: £12.50

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:76

Prisoners of war: Experiences and emotions

Prisoners of war: Experiences and emotions

  • 6 October 2017 From 11:30am

Following the publication of her pioneering history Captives of War, British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War, Clare Makepeace tells the story of wartime imprisonment through the love, fears, fantasies, loneliness, frustration and guilt felt by these men.

Drawing upon their diaries, letters and scrapbooks, she will shed new light upon how prisoners coped and came to terms with spending a war behind barbed wire.

Admission

Free.
Booking is recommended.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:75

UK security and the army

UK security and the army

  • 11 October 2017 From 7pm

Over the past six months the army has played a visible role in UK security. Operation Temperer saw 5,000 troops deployed on the streets to support the police and security services.

During this discussion our panel of experts will discuss the impact of the army’s presence on the streets of the UK. Do they make us feel safer? Was their deployment a panicked response? What else can the army do to protect security at home?

Panel:

Deborah Haynes, defence editor at The Times
Mark Castle, CEO Victim Support
Professor Andrew Silke, Head of Criminology, University of East London
Chantelle Taylor, Advisor in security and tactical medicine.
Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Security

Admission

£10:00
Concessions: £7.50

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:77

Redisplaying the D-Day Museum

Redisplaying the D-Day Museum

  • 13 October 2017 From 11:30am

The D-Day Museum in Portsmouth opened in 1984, and is currently undergoing a complete redisplay as part of a major Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project. This talk will look at the approach that the museum is taking to telling the story of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy through the objects in its collection.

Admission

Free.
Booking is recommended.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:78

5x15 talks: Women in military history

5x15 talks: Women in military history

  • 14 October 2017 1-5pm

Female academics are underrepresented across the board, but particularly in military history topics. During our event, you’ll hear women speak about their research and experiences, with the chance to ask questions and network throughout.

Programme
Panel 1:

Holly Winter
Military wives in the Indian Army in the 19th Century

Erica Charters
Disease, war and public opinion

Louise Bell
Women in the Royal Navy in the First World War

Nicola Martin
British Army loyalty in the Empire

Emma Butcher
Child soldiers

Panel 2:

Ingrid Sharp
Women’s political activism during the First World War

Victoria Kingston
How women respond to military history in museums

Catherine Bateson
Being a female historian of the American Civil War

Hannah West
From military engineer to academic researcher

Alexia Moncrieff
Gendered assumptions to medical-military history

Admission

Free.
Booking is recommended.

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:79

War Paint guest tour: Emma Mawdsley

War Paint guest tour: Emma Mawdsley

  • 18 October 2017 From 6:30pm

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.

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.

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

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

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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