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.
Abram Games entrance to Museum exhibition

The art of persuasion: Wartime posters by Abram Games

  • 15 April — 24 November 2019 *on now

This major exhibition explores the life and legacy of the iconic designer Abram Games, focusing on his time as 'Official War Poster Artist' during the Second World War.

Always direct, and occasionally controversial, Games's wartime posters have left a legacy that continues to influence the art of persuasion employed by visual designers today.

Inspired by his Jewish heritage, his experiences as a soldier, and the turbulent politics of the time, Games used his talent for visual communication to recruit, educate and influence soldiers and civilians alike.

In helping to transform new conscripts into trained soldiers, encouraging support for the war effort and presenting an idealistic vision of post-war Britain, Games's work offers a fascinating picture of a nation at war.

'The art of persuasion' examines the techniques Games used to communicate his messages effectively. From stark imagery and visual puns to innovative use of the airbrush, his unique artistic approach changed the face of British graphic design.

The exhibition includes posters from the National Army Museum’s collection alongside objects on loan from the family of Abram Games.

A book on the work of Abram Games during the Second World War, written by his daughter Naomi Games, will be available to purchase in The Shop at £16.99.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Adults: £6.00 l Concessions (incl. veterans): £5.00 | Students: £4.00 | Groups: £4.00 | Under 16s: FREE | Serving Army personnel (plus one additional adult): FREE

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/art-persuasion-wartime-posters-abram-games

Current female British soldiers at rifle training

Rise of the Lionesses: 70 years of the Women's Royal Army Corps

  • 28 June — 20 October 2019 *on now

Explore the changing role of women in the British Army through the lens of the Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC).

Marking the 70th anniversary of the formation of the WRAC, this exhibition highlights the changing roles of women in the British Army.

Society's view of women influenced their integration into the Army. But what was initially a temporary solution soon evolved into a permanent unit of female soldiers.

This exhibition will explore how attitudes towards 'appropriate' roles for women affected the contributions they were able to make. It will show how women used the Army to help break these moulds.

Using documents and objects from the collections of the WRAC Association and the National Army Museum, it will reveal the major contribution women have made to the Army's history.

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/rise-lionesses-70-years-womens-royal-army-corps

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.
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Grow your own food

  • 26 — 31 August 2019 , *on now

During the Second World War, Abram Games designed posters for the 'Dig for Victory' campaign. This encouraged people to grow their own food rather than relying on imports that took up vital shipping space.

In this workshop, you will make your own cress head to take home. How will you decorate the face?

Drop-in sessions:

11am to 1pm
2pm to 4pm

Family activities are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The mission continues...

Don't forget to pick up a free mission handbook at the Museum and collect your sticker for 'Week 6: Grow your own food'.

'Summer mission: Fun and Games' continues until 31 August with different activities each week. Can you collect a sticker for all six weeks? Win a special prize for collecting three or more (available while stocks last).

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/grow-your-own-food

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The Walls Have Ears

  • 30 August 2019 From 11:30am

During the Second World War, British intelligence bugged the conversations of thousands of German prisoners of war at three clandestine stately homes.

At the outbreak of the conflict, the unit had started off in a special compound in the Tower of London, under the directing genius of MI6 spymaster, Thomas Kendrick.

From 1942, captured German generals were housed in luxurious conditions at Trent Park in North London, and Latimer House and Wilton Park in Buckinghamshire. Lulled into a false sense of security, they dropped their guard and inadvertently gave away some of Hitler’s most closely guarded secrets, including discussions on new German technology.

Having worked through the declassified files, historian Helen Fry sheds light on one of the least-known, but greatest deceptions of the Second World War.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/walls-have-ears

lady having her portrait painted

Portrait painting: Rowena Griffiths MBE

  • 31 August 2019 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

Join Nneka Uzoigwe of London Fine Art Studios for a live portrait painting of inspirational Army veteran Rowena Griffiths MBE.

Rowena Griffiths joined the Army in October 1983. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1986, she became assistant adjutant to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, and the first female soldier to serve with them.

In these lively art and storytelling workshops, Rowena will be discussing her time in the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) and the changes that happened during a career that saw her serving in Germany, Bosnia, Nepal and Norway. Nneka Uzoigwe will provide a live commentary on the portrait techniques she is using.

Drop in between 11am and 1pm, or between 2pm and 4pm.

These sessions are part of a series which complements our Rise of the Lionesses exhibition and celebrates the role of women in the British Army. Five artists from London Fine Art Studios will paint five inspirational soldiers who have served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) or the WRAC. The portraits will then go on display at the Museum.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/portrait-painting-rowena-griffiths-mbe

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Arnhem, 1944

  • 4 September 2019 From 6pm

The Battle of Arnhem was a major turning point in the Second World War.

On 21 August 1944, German forces were destroyed in Normandy. Allied troops began pressing east from the beachhead they had occupied since the D-Day landings. Within days, British troops had liberated Brussels and reached the Dutch border.

Encouraged by what seemed to be total German collapse, the Allies gambled their overstretched resources on a high-risk strategy which aimed to open the way into Germany by crossing the River Rhine.

On the afternoon of Sunday 17 September, British tanks advanced into Holland along with 1,534 transport aircraft and 491 gliders. Their objective was a series of bridges across the Rhine, possession of which would allow the Allies to advance into Germany.

The operation suffered from bad weather, flawed planning and overconfidence. It ended with the bridge at Arnhem still in German hands despite an epic nine-day battle that cost the British 1st Airborne Division over two-thirds of its men.

William F Buckingham is a leading expert on the First and Second World Wars. He has taught history at the University of Glasgow for over a decade and is currently a tutor in the Widening Access Department.

After the talk, there will be a book sale and signing of his new publication, 'Arnhem: The Complete Story', one of the most comprehensive accounts of the battle to date.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5.00
Concessions: £4.00

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/arnhem-1944

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The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France

  • 6 September 2019 From 11:30am

In March 1917, the first women to be enrolled into the British Army (other than in nursing roles) joined the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).

These women took up jobs that the Army considered suitable, thereby freeing up men for the front line. The WAACs served as cooks, drivers, signallers, clerks, and as gardeners in military cemeteries.

Due to their exemplary service, Queen Mary gave her name to the corps in April 1918 and it became Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC).

By the time the corps was disbanded in 1921, approximately 57,000 women had served both at home and in France.

This talk explores the experiences of women in the WAAC, from enrolment to the camps and workplaces overseas, through to their experiences of the Spring Offensive of 1918, the Armistice and demobilisation.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/womens-army-auxiliary-corps-france

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The art of printing

  • 7 September 2019 10am-4pm

This workshop will guide you through the process of creating your own single- or two-colour printer poster, from concept and design through to print and finish.

Be inspired by the work of graphic designer Abram Games with a curator's tour of our special exhibition, The art of persuasion.

Later, explore the graphic design process and learn the basic principles of printing using cut paper stencils and screens.
Timetable

10am - Curator's tour of the exhibition
11am - Design process workshop
12pm - Lunch
1pm - Printing workshop
4pm - Workshop ends

Admission

£35.00
Concessions: £30.00

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/art-printing

lady having her portrait painted

Portrait painting: WO2 Catherine Munro MBE

  • 7 September 2019 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

Join Tim Daoust of London Fine Art Studios for a live portrait painting of inspirational soldier Catherine Munro MBE.

After a year in the Territorial Army, Catherine Munro joined the Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC) in 1984, enlisting as a physical training instructor. Following the disbandment of the WRAC, Cathy transferred to the Adjutant General's Corps, where she continues to serve today.

Awarded an MBE in 1996, Cathy has served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus, the United States and South Korea, where she worked as the United Kingdom Liaison Officer to the United Nations Military Armistice Commission. She was then promoted to the role of Commonwealth Sergeant Major, becoming the first British Army female soldier to hold this role. She has also undertaken much work on behalf of veterans of the Korean War.

In these lively art and storytelling workshops, Cathy will be discussing her military career, while Tim Daoust will provide a live commentary on the portrait techniques he is using.

Drop in between 11am and 1pm, or between 2pm and 4pm.

These sessions are part of a series which complements our Rise of the Lionesses exhibition and celebrates the role of women in the British Army. Five artists from London Fine Art Studios will paint five inspirational soldiers who have served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) or the WRAC. The portraits will then go on display at the Museum.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/portrait-painting-wo2-catherine-munro-mbe

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Tiny Troopers: Music

  • 9 September 2019 From 10am, From 11:15am

Sing, play and create with your little one at these fun, sensory sessions. Each month, Tiny Troopers will have a different theme. For September, we'll be inspired by music.

Sessions start at 10am and 11.20am.

Why not follow your session with a visit to the Museum’s fun and engaging soft play experience, Play Base. You can book your timed Play Base tickets online.

Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£5.00 per child

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/tiny-troopers-music-0

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First to Fight: Poland's defensive war of 1939

  • 12 September 2019 From 6pm

Drawing for the first time on Polish, German and Soviet sources, this talk explores the history of Germany's invasion of Poland in September 1939.

Did Britain and France assist their Polish ally to the best of their abilities when the German armies crossed the border on 1 September 1939?

While they went to war with Germany, why did they not declare war on the Soviet Union when its troops invaded Poland from the east later in the month?

And if the violation of Poland had been the reason to go to war in 1939, how could the Western Allies justify handing over the country on a plate to Stalin in 1945?

Roger will examine the broad outline of the campaign, its characteristics, its mythology and explain why it does not receive the attention that it should.

Roger Moorhouse is a historian and author specialising in modern German and Polish history. He is a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Warsaw, and is the author of a number of books including: 'Berlin at War', 'The Devils' Alliance' and 'The Third Reich in 100 Objects'.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£10.00
Concessions: £8.00 (ticket price includes glass of wine or soft drink)

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/first-fight-polands-defensive-war-1939

Alt="New York"

Our Man In New York: Fake news in the Second World War

  • 13 September 2019 From 11:30am

You've heard about Russian attempts to influence the last US presidential election. But did you know that the largest 'influence operation' ever launched in America had nothing to do with Moscow? It was run by the British, reached millions of Americans, and changed the course of the Second World War.

In this talk, Henry Hemming will use storytelling, music, props, and an audience game, to bring to life a particular episode from his book.

He will show how, in the months leading up to Pearl Harbour, a first-time MI6 spymaster, a failed American politician, a love-struck lyricist, and the president of the United States used a fake Nazi map to trick the American people. He will also reveal the surprising effect this had on world history.

This story is close to Henry's heart. As he will explain in the talk, the man who ran this undercover British operation during the war not only asked his grandmother to be a spy, but also saved Henry's father's life.

Henry Hemming is the bestselling author of 'M', the acclaimed biography of MI5 spymaster Maxwell Knight.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/our-man-new-york-fake-news-second-world-war

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Curator tour: The art of persuasion

  • 18 September 2019 From 11am

This major exhibition explores the life and legacy of the iconic designer Abram Games, focusing on his time as 'Official War Poster Artist' during the Second World War.

Always direct, and occasionally controversial, Games's wartime posters have left a legacy that continues to influence the art of persuasion employed by visual designers today.

Inspired by his Jewish heritage, his experiences as a soldier, and the turbulent politics of the time, Games used his talent for visual communication to recruit, educate and influence soldiers and civilians alike.

In helping to transform new conscripts into trained soldiers, encouraging support for the war effort and presenting an idealistic vision of post-war Britain, Games's work offers a fascinating picture of a nation at war.

'The art of persuasion' examines the techniques Games used to communicate his messages effectively. From stark imagery and visual puns to innovative use of the airbrush, his unique artistic approach changed the face of British graphic design.

The exhibition includes posters from the National Army Museum’s collection alongside objects on loan from the family of Abram Games.

Admission

£10.50
Concessions: £9.50

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/curator-tour-art-persuasion-5

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The intelligence factory: Bletchley Park and signals intelligence in the Second World War

  • 20 September 2019 From 11:30am

The Government Code and Cipher School at Bletchley Park is well known for its code-breaking activities during the Second World War.

This talk will introduce the lesser known parts of the Bletchley Park story. It will reveal the scale of that code-breaking operation, how challenges were overcome, and will describe the efficient 'Intelligence Factory' which was created.

By using the D-Day operation as an example, the true scale of the code-breaking operation is revealed. Likewise, the experiences of the thousands of workers, who processed thousands of pieces of vital intelligence daily, are described.

Dr David Kenyon is the research historian at Bletchley Park, the Second World War code-breaking site in Buckinghamshire. His latest book, 'Bletchley Park and D-Day', was published by Yale University Press in 2019.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/intelligence-factory-bletchley-park-and-signals-intelligence-second-world-war

lady having her portrait painted

Portrait painting: Wendy Hooton

  • 21 September 2019 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

Join Scott Pohlschmidt of London Fine Art Studios for a live portrait painting of inspirational Army veteran Wendy Hooton.

Wendy Hooton enlisted in the Army in 1972. After completing her basic training at Guildford, she moved to Catterick and qualified as a communication centre operator.

In these lively art and storytelling workshops, Wendy will be discussing her time in the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC), a career that saw her serving in London, Hong Kong, Australia, Cyprus and Germany. Scott Pohlschmidt will provide a live commentary on the portrait techniques he is using.

Drop in between 11am and 1pm, or between 2pm and 4pm.

These sessions are part of a series which complements our Rise of the Lionesses exhibition and celebrates the role of women in the British Army. Five artists from London Fine Art Studios will paint five inspirational soldiers who have served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) or the WRAC. The portraits will then go on display at the Museum.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/portrait-painting-wendy-hooton

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At Ease early opening: Open House special

  • 22 September 2019 8:30-10am

From 8.30am to 10am, our galleries will be open early for families with additional sensory needs. Select interactives will be turned off, noises and lights turned down, and a quiet room will be available for downtime.

Part of Open House London, this event allows you to take part in a family craft activity, using recycled materials to build a giant structure.

Explore the Museum further with sensory backpacks that enhance the experience with tactile aids.

All visitors to this special early opening will be sent a visual story in advance to provide an idea of what to expect on arrival. Please note: the Museum opens to the general public at 9.30am, with galleries opening at 10am.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/ease-early-opening-open-house-special

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Open House London: Make do and mend

  • 22 September 2019 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

Mark Open House London by becoming an architect for the day. Inspired by the idea of 'make do and mend', you can take on the challenge of building a structure using recycled materials.

Drop-in sessions:

11am to 1pm
2pm to 4pm

Open House London is the world's largest architecture festival, giving free public access to over 800 buildings, walks, talks and tours over one weekend in September each year.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/open-house-london-make-do-and-mend

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For valour

  • 27 September 2019 From 11:30am

The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious gallantry award for members of the British Armed Forces.

Since its inception in 1856, the only firm to supply the cross is Hancocks of London, with whom David Callaghan was employed throughout his 42-year career.

His unique insight provides the background for this talk. He traces the Cross's history and tells the heroic stories of the recipients of this famous award.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/valour

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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