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

  • 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

Curator tour: Special Forces

Curator tour: Special Forces

  • 25 July 2018 11am-12pm
  • 1 August 2018 6-7pm
  • 16 August 2018 11am-12pm
  • 30 August 2018 11am-12pm
  • 5 September 2018 6-7pm
  • 19 September 2018 11am-12pm
  • 3 October 2018 6-7pm
  • 18 October 2018 11am-12pm
  • 24 — 25 October 2018 11am-12pm

‘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

Summer Mission: Parachute Adventures

Summer Mission: Parachute Adventures

  • 21 July — 1 September 2018 *on now

Activities offered daily Monday to Saturday from 21 July - 1 September.

Design Your Own Parachute Sessions
10.30am–11.15am
2pm-2.45pm

What material, shape and design makes the best parachute? What will you choose? Make sure your paratrooper can hit the target, stay camouflaged and complete the mission. Try it out at the Giant Parachute Drop Zone!

Mission Training Sessions
12pm-12.45pm
3.30pm-4.15pm

Get prepared for your special mission with one of our training workshops. Sharpen your memory to see if you can make the cut, pack your bag with the essentials for survival and test your observation skills with our spot the sniper activity. Pick up a free ticket for both workshops from the Welcome Desk on arrival at the museum.

Giant Parachute Drop Zone times:
11.20am-11.50am
2.50pm-3.20pm

How well can your parachute fly? Test your accuracy and beat your friends with our daily drops. Can you make our leaderboard? Come back another day to try and beat your personal best!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

SOE storytelling

SOE storytelling

  • 25 July 2018 10:30am-4:15pm
  • 29 August 2018 10:30am-4:15pm

Go back in time and meet a female Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent. The women of SOE were some of the first women to ever parachute, so ask our agent questions, discover important objects she works with and learn what it was like parachuting behind enemy lines. The special agent will be brought to life by historian and costumed interpreter, Dr Kate Vigurs.


Part one- Agent training, 10.30am, 2pm (Approx. 40 minutes)
Part two- Dropping behind enemy lines, 12pm, 3.30pm (Approx. 40 minutes)

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17

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

Parachute Games

Parachute Games

  • 2 — 30 August 2018

Hide, sing and play with our giant parachute. Get active with these fun, sensory sessions that are perfect for ages 3+. Great for your little ones to practice team-work, rhythm and agility.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

The evolution of military camouflage

The evolution of military camouflage

  • 3 August 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Artists were very much involved with devising the first patterns of camouflage used by the British Army on the Western Front during the First World War. This deployment of artists continued into the Second World War. But camouflage uniforms remained the preserve of elite military units and it was only in the 1970s that camouflaged combat dress became widely available. Now camouflage is devised by teams of scientists but some classic patterns still refer back to earlier, more creative, days.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking recommended

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

100 years since the 100 Days: How the First World War transformed the army

100 years since the 100 Days: How the First World War transformed the army

  • 10 August 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

The First World War transformed the British Army beyond all recognition. By 1918, four years of conflict, casualties and innovation across the globe, had evolved the Army into a highly efficient, effective fighting machine. This force was capable of maintaining and supplying multiple armies in the field and conducting consecutive ‘all arms’ battles on scale that was unimaginable in 1914.

100 years on from the decisive events of 1918, this lecture will explore how the British Army evolved and steadily improved from 1914. It will also address the ongoing relevance for the modern military of the lessons learned on the battlefields of the First World War.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking recommended

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

The development of British artillery on the Western Front

The development of British artillery on the Western Front

  • 24 August 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Dr Breer will discuss the evolutions and revolutions in design and technology of artillery from the late 19th century to the end of the First World War.

He will explore why the British Army came into battle with the ordnance it did. He will also highlight how the manufacturing base in the UK both allowed, and limited, the designs eventually fielded in battle.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking recommended

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Barrack Room Ballads

Barrack Room Ballads

  • 24 — 26 August 2018

Join us as we promenade through time, capturing the everyday sounds and rhythms of the lives of soldiers, and reflecting on society’s response to this history-changing event.

Travel from the East End music halls to the vibrant streets of India, from the Victorian era to the present day; old meets new in this extraordinary, immersive musical.

Composed and directed by Conor Mitchell, this unique production is performed by a 37-strong cast from Youth Music Theatre UK with The Belfast Ensemble.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults £15
Concessions £12

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

The Special Boat Squadron in the Second World War: A band of renegade cut-throats

The Special Boat Squadron in the Second World War: A band of renegade cut-throats

  • 31 August 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

The Special Boat Squadron (SBS) was formed as a separate unit from the Special Air Service (SAS) in early 1943. It was an elite fighting force which never comprised more than 200 soldiers.

Led by men such as the famed Victoria Cross recipient Anders Lassen, the SBS launched savage hit-and-run raids on the Germans stationed in idyllic Aegean islands such as Santorini, Naxos and Crete. Highly-trained, totally secretive and utterly ruthless, the SBS also saw action in Italy, the Balkans and mainland Greece. But their methods didn't always find favour with the British establishment, and in 1944 the Conservative MP Simon Wingfield-Digby, in describing their guerrilla methods, likened them to 'a band of renegade cut-throats'.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking recommended

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Lost Warriors: Seagrim and Pagani of Burma

Lost Warriors: Seagrim and Pagani of Burma

  • 7 September 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

This talk tells the sensational, but little-known story, of Major Hugh Seagrim, the ‘T.E. Lawrence of Burma’. He volunteered to stay behind the Japanese lines for over two and a half years to raise an army amongst the loyal Karens of eastern Burma. This was one of the most successful guerrilla operations of the Second World War.

It is an intensely human story of honour, courage, love and self-sacrifice in the face of appalling brutality. Its legacy resonates to this day as the diverse peoples of Burma search for a lasting solution to their conflicts.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Jason Fox in conversation

Jason Fox in conversation

  • 12 September 2018 6:30-8pm

Jason joined the Royal Marine Commandos at 16, serving for 10 years, after which he passed the gruelling selection process for the Special Forces. Serving in the Special Boat Service, he has planned, led and participated in operations including hostage rescue, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, surveillance, body guarding and anti-drug smuggling missions.

Jason will be interviewed for 45 minutes by Gordon Smart, a seasoned broadcaster, former journalist and editor of The Scottish Sun. There will be a chance for the audience to ask questions at the end.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Operation Torch

Operation Torch

  • 14 September 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

In 1942, Britain and the United States launched a combined amphibious landing in North Africa, code-named ‘Torch’. Prime Minister Winston Churchill suggested that British soldiers should wear US Army uniforms during the invasion as he believed that the Vichy French would be more welcoming to US than British soldiers.

Emma Mawdsley examines photographs in the National Army Museum’s collections illustrating the co-operation between the British and American forces during this major operation of the Second World War.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

From Messines Ridge to Moltmann: Studdert Kennedy and a Suffering God after a century

From Messines Ridge to Moltmann: Studdert Kennedy and a Suffering God after a century

  • 21 September 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

The Reverend Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy is famous as ‘Woodbine Willie’, an Army chaplain who handed cigarettes to soldiers while dispensing pastoral care. He had a great influence on those who met him during the war or heard him speak afterwards, when he was a much loved and respected preacher until his early death in 1929. However, in the midst of the war, he forged a new theology which anticipated many developments in the later 20th century. This has led to an on-going fame and influence – and now he is probably better known in Germany (in the work of Jurgen Moltmannn) than in Britain.

This lecture will both outline the theology he forged in an around Messines Ridge in June 1917, and locate that development within his work as a padre and the situation he saw himself and his fellow soldiers during 1917. Exactly a century after its first publication – when the work was greeted with anger and derision –‘A Suffering God’, shows that religion was one more aspect of British culture that was transformed by the war.

In 2018 there have been many attempts to re-evaluate the impact of the war on society and culture. This lecture will bring out an important, but little known aspect of that impact and allow us to re-evaluate ‘Woodbine Willie’ as not only a much-loved padre, but now a respected thinker about war and religion.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Open House London: Architecture Tour

Open House London: Architecture Tour

  • 22 September 2018 3-4pm

After three years of redevelopment, we reopened our newly designed building in March 2017. Learn about how and why it was designed by architects, BDP, during this free tour.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Brutalism and Modern Architecture in Chelsea

Brutalism and Modern Architecture in Chelsea

  • 22 September 2018 2-3pm

Join Christopher Beanland, author of Concrete Concept - Brutalist Buildings Around The World, for an introduction to brutalist architecture and how the brutalist National Army Museum fits in to the classical landscape of Chelsea. Part of Open House London 2018.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Open House London: Sketch the Atrium

Open House London: Sketch the Atrium

  • 22 September 2018 11am-1pm, 2-4pm
  • 23 September 2018 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

For Open House London, visit our atrium and have a go at sketching your surroundings. An artist will be on hand to give you some pointers.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Open House London: Building Blocks Challenge

Open House London: Building Blocks Challenge

  • 22 September 2018 11am-1pm, 2-4pm
  • 23 September 2018 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

During Open House London become an architect for the day and have a go at building a structure with our big boxes of wooden planks.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Book Launch: Vietnam, An Epic Tragedy, 1945 – 1975

Book Launch: Vietnam, An Epic Tragedy, 1945 – 1975

  • 26 September 2018 6:30-8pm

Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing participants on both sides, as well as researching American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create a narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the epic struggle at Dien Bien Phu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out. He brings to life the vivid realities of a war amid jungle and paddies that killed over two million people.

This talk will be followed by a book sale and signing.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Adult: £15
Concessions: £12.75

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Chasing the Lion: The First World War in East Africa

Chasing the Lion: The First World War in East Africa

  • 28 September 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Fighting during the First World War reached many of Europe’s far-flung colonies, such as those in East Africa. The fighting there was brutal, but the environment even more deadly. Soldiers marched across hundreds of miles of plains, swamps and jungles, and faced constant threats from heat, tropical diseases and parasitic bugs such as the tsetse fly, as well as ambush and combat. Britain committed £200 million and over half a million men to capturing and defeating General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s well-trained Askaris, but he led the Allies on a merry game of cat and mouse for the duration of the war, avoiding defeat to the very end.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk

Portrait photography course with Rory Lewis

Portrait photography course with Rory Lewis

  • 29 September 2018 10am-4pm

Inspired by his recent portrait exhibition, Soldiery, photographer Rory Lewis leads a practical photography course focused on developing your skills in portrait photography. Rory’s fun and practical learning techniques and use of professional models will help you hone your skills and add to your photography portfolio. Aimed at both amateur and more experienced photographers, this workshop will cover studio flash lighting, the effect of soft boxes, umbrellas, snoots and reflectors. You’ll learn what a light’s main function is and how lighting affects the final image.

Course schedule:
10am – Welcome and talk by Rory Lewis on The Medium of Portraiture
10.45am – Refreshments
11am – High key portraiture
12.30pm – Lunch
1.15pm – Vivid chiaroscuro portraiture
2pm – Low key portraiture (Rembrandt lighting, split and short lighting)
4pm – Closing remarks from Rory Lewis

Rory Lewis is a British portrait photographer. His body of work includes celebrity sittings with actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, Natalie Dormer, Ian McShane, Iain Glen and many other portraits of musicians and men and women of accomplishment.

Rory’s inspirations include Renaissance portraiture and German expressionist cinema. Rory’s recent exhibition Soldiery featured 278 portraits of British Army soldiers.

Refreshments and lunch are included in the cost of the course.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Adults: £149
Concessions: £126.65

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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