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.
Special Forces: In the Shadows

Special Forces: In the Shadows

  • 17 March — 1 November 2018 *on now

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.

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and get the opportunity to pre-book your Special Forces tickets as soon as they are released.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£8 Adults,
£7 concessions
£4 children
Under 12 free

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.
Security and the army tour

Security and the army tour

  • 2 June 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

Admission

Free
Booking is recommended

Website

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

Security and the army tour

Security and the army tour

  • 3 March — 1 December 2018 *on now

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

Admission

Free, booking is recommended

Website

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

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

Special Forces: Out of the Shadows

  • 17 March — 18 November 2018 *on now

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

Ice Maidens

Ice Maidens

  • 23 May 2018 6:30-8pm

On 20 November 2017, the Ice Maidens – a team made up of women serving in the British Army or Army Reserve - set out on a 1,000-mile expedition across Antarctica. They completed the task 62 days later.

At this event, members of the Ice Maidens team will discuss what it was like to ski across Antarctica in temperatures of -40ºC, how they prepared for the task, and the significance of being the first all-female team to complete the challenge.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/ice-maidens

Curator tour: Special Forces

Curator tour: Special Forces

  • 23 May 2018 11am-12pm
  • 6 June 2018 6-7pm
  • 20 June 2018 11am-12pm
  • 4 July 2018 6-7pm
  • 5 July 2018 11am-12pm
  • 25 July 2018 11am-12pm
  • 1 August 2018 6-7pm

‘Special Forces: In the Shadows’ presents ideas of security and secrecy through the lens of British Special Forces. Discover who these elite soldiers are, the skills they need, and the operations they’ve undertaken.

Curator tour tickets include entry to the exhibition. Please meet at the exhibition entrance five minutes before the tour is due to begin.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Standard: £12.50
Concessions: £10.62

Website

https://tickets.nam.ac.uk/performances.php?eventId=413:129

Weapons that wound, hands that heal

Weapons that wound, hands that heal

  • 25 May 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Throughout history, increasingly sophisticated weapons have been developed in the effort to gain an advantage in warfare. The medical profession has had to adapt to these changes in order to save lives and heal the wounded.

Museum curator Robert Fleming will explore how, by 1914, the Industrial Revolution had resulted in extremely accurate rifles and artillery, and will reflect on the severe wounds these weapons caused.

Louise Bell of the National Archives will examine the treatments available for some of the most common wounds received during the First World War. She will also discuss the institutions set up to help these men, with a particular focus on those who were disabled by the war.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/weapons-wound-hands-heal

Half term: Be a journalist

Half term: Be a journalist

  • 26 May — 3 June 2018

Join us this May half-term to flex your tech skills and create a mini-documentary about some of the Museum’s objects. Discover the stories behind the objects, write a script and record your film using the Museum’s iPads.

Sessions daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Pick up a free ticket from the Welcome Desk.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/half-term-be-journalist

Walking tour: Beyond the battlefield

Walking tour: Beyond the battlefield

  • 31 May 2018 1:45-4pm

Led by guides from Brompton Cemetery and the National Army Museum, this walking tour will uncover the personal stories behind some of the cemetery’s monuments, linking them to the National Army Museum’s unique collections.

The tour will also highlight the historic relationship between Chelsea and the military.

Start point: North Gate of Brompton Cemetery at 1.45pm
End point: National Army Museum at 4pm

Please contact us in advance if you have any mobility issues.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Standard: £12.50
Concessions: £10.62

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/walking-tour-beyond-battlefield-1

A cool and lonely courage: The women of SOE F Section.

A cool and lonely courage: The women of SOE F Section.

  • 1 June 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Chosen to work in a secretive, clandestine and mainly male domain, the women of the Special Operations Executive, French Section (SOE F) were remarkable individuals. Ranging from housewives to grandmothers, shop assistants to princesses, 39 women passed through a rigorous training programme.

This talk will examine how these women were selected and what training they received. Drawing on archive material and interviews, Dr Kate Vigurs will evaluate the operational lives of several agents, assessing their roles and suitability for such intricate work, and in some cases, detailing their fate at the hands of the enemy.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/cool-and-lonely-courage-women-soe-f-section

Security and the army tour

Security and the army tour

  • 2 June 2018 2-2:30pm
  • 7 July 2018 2-2:30pm
  • 4 August 2018 2-2:30pm
  • 1 September 2018 2-2:30pm
  • 6 October 2018 2-2:30pm
  • 3 November 2018 2-2:30pm
  • 1 December 2018 2-2:30pm

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

Admission

Booking recommended

Website

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

Get hands-on: Military medicine in the First World War

Get hands-on: Military medicine in the First World War

  • 5 June 2018 11-11:30am, 2:30-3pm

In this 20-minute object handling session, meet a curator and learn about military medicine during the First World War.

Suitable for all ages.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/get-hands-military-medicine-first-world-war

Book launch: Why we fight

Book launch: Why we fight

  • 6 June 2018 6:30-8pm

In his talk, Dr Mike Martin will contrast the latest in cognitive research with his experiences of combat in Afghanistan, and offer up a unique view of what causes war.

Mike will talk about how the brain has evolved to seek status and belonging, and how this drives human beings, and particularly men, to make war and commit other forms of violence, including terrorism.

Furthermore, Mike will examine the effect that moral codes, religions, and shared ideologies have on increasing or reducing violence in the long term.

Mike will conclude by asking what this means for the future of all types of war: from global conflict to insurgency, and from civil war to terrorism.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/book-launch-why-we-fight

Ask an expert: Object identification workshop

Ask an expert: Object identification workshop

  • 8 June 2018 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?

Book into one of our 30-minute sessions with a staff member. If you have more than one enquiry, please book two sessions.

Please do not bring guns or other weapons to this workshop.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/ask-expert-object-identification-workshop-0

The real Monuments Men

The real Monuments Men

  • 8 June 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act of 2017 committed the UK to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention on the protection of heritage and other cultural property in conflict zones.

In this context, the UK is also now creating a specialist unit for cultural property protection within its armed forces. But such a unit existed once before - the ‘Monuments Men’ whose activities to protect art and monuments were largely forgotten until the 2014 film starring George Clooney.

This talk examines the reality behind the film, with an emphasis on the British contribution to that organisation.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/real-monuments-men

Father’s Day

Father’s Day

  • 17 June 2018 From 11am

Join us this Father’s Day for a range of family-friendly tours and workshops. All activities are free and there’s no need to book.

Gallery highlights tours
11am and 2pm
Meet at the Welcome Desk.

Robot Adventures workshop
11am to 12pm and 2pm to 3pm
Pick up a free ticket from the Welcome Desk and head to the Foyle Centre.

Marching workshop with a First World War soldier
12pm to 12.30pm and 1pm to 1.30pm
Sessions take place in the Atrium.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/fathers-day

Soldiers’ families during the Second World War

Soldiers’ families during the Second World War

  • 22 June 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Julie Summers will examine the dislocation felt by men and women returning from the long years of service in the Second World War.

For some the return home was joyous, with family life picked up where they had left off. But many took weeks, months, years - and some a lifetime - to return to civilian life. Often troubled by their experiences in battle or prisoner-of-war camps, they found it hard to readjust to life in Britain and the repercussions were felt by members of their families.

This talk will consider why this important area of our social history has been so little examined. With the enormous interest in family history today, this talk is relevant to anyone interested in our immediate past.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/soldiers-families-during-second-world-war

The Battle of Dettingen, 1743

The Battle of Dettingen, 1743

  • 29 June 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

On 27 June 1743, King George II commanded the British Army against the French at Dettingen. It was the last time a reigning British monarch would personally lead troops into battle.

The battle was fought in southern Germany during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). George’s victory there was famously celebrated by Handel in his composition, ‘Dettingen Te Deum’.

Museum curator Sophie Stathi will introduce the reasons behind Britain’s involvement in the war. She will explore the events of the battle and the lessons learned, highlighting soldiers’ personal stories.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/battle-dettingen-1743

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day

  • 30 June 2018 From 10:30am

Join us to celebrate Armed Forces Day with tours, entertainment and family activities. All activities are free and there’s no need to book.


Medal making family workshop
10.30am to 4.30pm
Drop in and make a medal. Pick up a free ticket from Welcome Desk.

Highlights tours
11am and 2pm
Take a 20-minute tour of the museum. Meet at the Welcome Desk.

Musical performance to be announced
1pm
Takes place in the Atrium.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/armed-forces-day

Behind the scenes: Artists Rifles

Behind the scenes: Artists Rifles

  • 4 July 2018 6:30-8pm

Discover the history of the Artists Rifles in the Museum’s collections. The Artists Rifles regiment was formed in 1860 by a group of painters, architects, poets, sculptors, musicians and actors concerned about a possible French invasion. Notable members included William Morris, Frederick Leighton and Noël Coward.

Artists Rifles expert Patrick Baty will speak about the history of the regiment, and Museum curator Emma Mawdsley will highlight some of the Museum’s collections relating to those who served in the unit.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Standard: £15
Concessions: £12.75

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Get hands on: Achievements by the Indian Army in the First World War

Get hands on: Achievements by the Indian Army in the First World War

  • 4 July 2018 11-11:30am, 2:30-3pm

Join a curator for a free 20-minute object handling sessions in one of our galleries. In this 20-minute object handling session, meet one of the Museum’s expert curators and learn about the forgotten fronts of the First World War through historical artefacts from our collections.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Bluebirds of War: Canadian nurses in the First World War

Bluebirds of War: Canadian nurses in the First World War

  • 6 July 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Dr Andrea McKenzie discusses the experiences of Canadian nurses during the First World War. For four years, over 3,800 Canadian nursing sisters tended to the wounded and ill soldiers of the First World War on all fronts, from Russia to Gallipoli, Salonika to France. In 1918, the last year of the war, their efforts were concentrated on the Western Front.

Through shot and shell, bombs and torpedoes, 3,000 miles from their homes, the Canadian nurses cared for the casualties of war.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Soldiers Out: LGBTQ Tour

Soldiers Out: LGBTQ Tour

  • 13 July 2018 2-2:30pm

Kelsey Loveless, from the National Army Museum, explores LGBTQ narratives within the British Army in a tour of the museum’s galleries. This tour will highlight the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer soldiers throughout the history of the British Army. It will further explore these individual stories within wider British legislation and army attitudes towards queer soldiers.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Operation Husky, 1943

Operation Husky, 1943

  • 13 July 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Will Fowler discusses the amphibious and airborne assault on Sicily in 1943. Operation Husky was a major campaign of the Second World War in which the Allies captured the island of Sicily from the Axis powers.

This talk will cover the details of the campaign and its wider implications, particularly the lessons learned that would later be applied to D-Day.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

http://www.nam.ac.uk

Remembering Australians in the First World War

Remembering Australians in the First World War

  • 20 July 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Dr Jenny Macleod explores Australia’s experience of the First World War and traces how it has been remembered ever since. July and August 2018 mark the centenary of what General Monash termed ‘The Australian Victories in France in 1918’.

Australia’s pride in its military role in the First World War has been used as the basis of its national identity. The 21st century has seen an intense period of emotional and political investment in the commemoration of the Anzacs.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

British perspectives on the Korean War and its aftermath

British perspectives on the Korean War and its aftermath

  • 27 July 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Dr Grace Huxford discusses the end of the Korean War on its 65th anniversary. It is often stated that the Korean War (1950-53) never actually ended. Although an armistice was signed at Panmunjom in July 1953, the lack of a formal peace treaty, as well as continuing tension on the Korean peninsula, has led many to suppose that there was never a true conclusion.

In this talk, based on archival and oral history records, Dr Grace Huxford explores the many possible endings of the Korean War and describes the experiences of British servicemen.

Dr Huxford will seek to show the importance of Korea - often called the ‘Forgotten War’ - in British history, and highlight the contribution of British forces to this conflict.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

The Muddy Choir

The Muddy Choir

  • 7 — 8 November 2018
  • 10 November 2018

It is November 1917 and the Third Battle of Ypres is lurching towards its bloody conclusion.

Young soldiers Will, Robbie and Jumbo are thrust into a landscape starkly different to the playing fields and estates of their Sunderland home. United by their childhood oath “nee killing, anly singing”, Robbie dreams their music will be a ticket away from the front, but attracting the attention of their commanding officers may prove more dangerous than bullets and gas.

Nominated for “Best Play for Young Audiences” at the Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards 2015, The Muddy Choir tells the story of three soldiers serving with the Durham Light Infantry. Including traditional wartime songs, it is a play about childhood friends growing up in unbearable circumstances and the humanising power of music.

The longest established touring company in the UK, Theatre Centre bring high quality artistic experiences to children and young people across the country, no matter their circumstances.

Jesse Briton is a multi-award winning actor, writer and director. He has founded three companies that he continues to make work through: Bear Trap, the Jones Collective and Wassail. His work for theatre includes: Derailed (HOME, Manchester); Hiraeth (UK and NZ tour); Enduring Song (Southwark Playhouse); and Bound (UK and Australian tour; Southwark Playhouse).

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

TBC

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

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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