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

A photo of the Museum foyer from above,

Outlook

  • 10 — 30 June 2019

This exhibition from Combat Stress features artwork created by veterans as part of their recovery from trauma.

This exhibition represents the psychological impact of war, but also demonstrates that art-making can offer relief and new growth after trauma.

For some veterans, art-making can provide much-needed relief from intrusive trauma memories by channelling thoughts towards peaceful subject matter. Others might use the creative process to try to make sense of their experiences by releasing feelings through art.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

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

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

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.
Children working on iPads

Food for thought: Digital poster design

  • 29 May 2019 10-11am, 11:30am-1pm, 2-2:30pm

Get inspired by the work of Abram Games and use iPads to make a digital poster. Suitable for ages 9+.

During the Second World War, Abram Games designed posters for the 'Dig for Victory' campaign, encouraging people to produce their own food.

Play interactive games to find out more about how growing our own vegetables and sourcing local food can be beneficial today. Then, create your own digital poster for a similar campaign. Can you use the art of persuasion like Abram Games?

Session times:
11am to 12pm
1pm to 2pm
2.30pm to 3.30pm

FREE. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

FREE

Website

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

A little boy blowing into an air pen

Airbrush effects

  • 25 — 28 May 2019 , *on now

Pick a colour, grab a blow pen and get creative with this giant poster half-term activity.

Abram Games used airbrush techniques when designing posters during the Second World War. You can see many of these in special exhibition, ‘The art of persuasion’.

Get inspired, grab a blow pen and create beautiful airbrush art on our giant posters in this fun family workshop. There will be a botanical theme to the designs in celebration of the Chelsea Flower Show taking place next door.

Drop-in sessions run from 11am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm.

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

Suitable for

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

Admission

FREE
Booking is not required.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/airbrush-effects

A girl making a poster

Poster printing

  • 30 May — 2 June 2019 ,

Channel your inner graphic designer with this family-friendly print-making workshop.

Try your hand at poster printing in this design workshop inspired by the art of Abram Games. Make your own foam stamps and print a design of colourful, bold shapes. Then add a catchy slogan with stencilled or stamped letters.

Get creative and use the art of persuasion to spread your message loud and clear!

Drop-in sessions run from 11am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm.

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

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

FREE Booking is not required.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/poster-printing-0

Kim Wagner's book 'Amritsar 1919'

The Amritsar Massacre revisited

  • 31 May 2019 From 11:30am

Join Kim A Wagner to learn about the experiences of the ordinary British and Indian people affected by the Amritsar Massacre of 1919.

The Amritsar Massacre, during which hundreds of people were killed at Jallianwala Bagh, was a seminal moment in the history of India and the British Empire. Yet, 100 years on, it remains poorly understood and largely shrouded in myth.

In this talk, Kim A Wagner explores the experiences of ordinary people, British and Indian, caught up in a storm of simmering discontent and anxiety in April 1919.

Examining the massacre within the context of colonial mentality and the local dynamics of Indian nationalism, Wagner offers a nuanced perspective to the bloody history of the British Empire.

Kim A Wagner teaches the history of colonial India and the British Empire at Queen Mary University of London.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

FREE Booking is recommended.

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/amritsar-massacre-revisited

Museum female staff member looking at artwork or posters with a male member of staff standing looking over the work.

Ask an expert: Object identification workshop

  • 3 June 2019 2-4pm

Get help from National Army Museum staff identifying your artefacts and learn how to research your family history.

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 these 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+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/ask-expert-object-identification-workshop-2

Soldiers landing at Normandy wading through the water from the landing craft to the beaches.

D-Day: The soldiers' story

  • 7 June 2019 From 11:30am

Giles Milton explores a narrative of D-Day shaped through the tales of survivors.

Learn about D-Day from the perspective of the survivors, from the teenage Allied conscript and crack German defender, to the French resistance fighter.

Giles Milton lays bare the terror of those trapped in the front line of Operation Overlord and gives voice to those hitherto unheard.

The talk is drawn in its entirety from the raw, unvarnished experiences of those who were there.

Giles Milton is an internationally bestselling writer who specialises in narrative history.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/d-day-soldiers-story

Soldiers wading through water at Normandy beaches.

Spotlight Saturday: D-Day

  • 8 June 2019 10am-4pm

Join the National Army Museum for this day of talks, tours and family activities as we mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

Thursday 6 June is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. This month's Spotlight Saturday will look at the Army's role in the largest combined operation in the history of warfare.

Join the Museum for talks and tours, as well as an opportunity to look at items from the Museum collection and meet veterans.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/spotlight-saturday-d-day

3 allied soldiers in a tank during the battle of Kohima

Kohima: Britain's greatest battle?

  • 11 June 2019 6:30-8pm

Marking the 75th anniversary of the battles of Imphal and Kohima, historians James Holland and Robert Lyman discuss their immediate impact and wider significance.

The battles of Imphal and Kohima were a crucial turning point in the attempted Japanese invasion of India during the Second World War.

By October 1942, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaya and Burma had all fallen to the Japanese. Their army looked unbeatable.

Yet, with morale at its lowest, General William Slim set about reforming and rebuilding the British-Indian Fourteenth Army. His force then succeeded in halting the Japanese on India's eastern frontier in two epic battles fought between March and July 1944.

This hard-won victory proved the turning point in the Burma campaign and paved the way for the reconquest of that country.

At this exclusive event, historians James Holland and Robert Lyman will also discuss the challenge of discovering the truth about two of Britain's greatest battles.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£10.00, Concessions: £8.00

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/kohima-britains-greatest-battle

Illustration of a man in a phonebox surrounded by lots of heads of Hitler, listening in.

Persuading the people: British propaganda in the Second World War

  • 14 June 2019 From 11:30am

From crude to comic, Professor David Welch discusses British propaganda and illustrates his talk with artefacts from the Second World War.

Professor David Welch will focus on a largely neglected aspect of the Ministry of Information's work: their role as a major publisher.

Propaganda messages ranged from the crudeness of specifically anti-Nazi and anti-Japanese publications to defiant and even cheeky humour in some of the material depicting events that turned the war in Britain's favour.

The more light-hearted campaigns discouraged citizens from gossiping, while at the same time encouraging them to savour the culinary delights and health-inducing qualities to be found by experimenting with versatile Potato Pete and Doctor Carrot.

David will illustrate his talk with artefacts including posters, pamphlets and leaflets to illuminate the importance of winning 'hearts and minds' in the Second World War.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/persuading-people-british-propaganda-second-world-war

An Arab man in headdress holding a British flagged magazine talking to two British troops in an armoured truck.

Propaganda: Persuasion, information, deception

  • 15 June 2019 10am-5pm

Join the National Army Museum for a conference exploring propaganda and its impact on the British Army and wider society from the 1600s to the present day and beyond.

As a means of disseminating information, of rallying and mobilising populations, of celebrating victories and deceiving the enemy, propaganda has always been a part of conflict. But how has that changed over time? And what does it mean for the future?

As conflict has evolved, so too has propaganda. We live in an age of information. Never before has anybody had such quick and easy access to virtually unlimited amounts of material, on virtually any subject. Yet this ease of access is not without its dangers. The flow of information is unregulated, unchallenged – and potentially devastating.

International experts, including keynote speaker Professor David Welch, will discuss the role propaganda plays in all our lives: in war, in peace, and in the space in between. Ticket price includes lunch and a ticket to The art of persuasion: Wartime posters by Abram Games.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£20.00, Concessions: £15.00

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/propaganda-persuasion-information-deception

A World War 1 tank climbing up a hill

Airfix tanks

  • 16 June 2019 12-3pm

This Father's Day, get hands-on and build your own model tank at the National Army Museum's Airfix workshop. This activity is suitable for ages 8+.

Spend some quality family time together at the Museum, constructing and painting your own 1:76 scale tank.

Ticket price includes one kit to take away per family. Each kit includes model parts, glue, paint and paint brush.

Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£10.00 per kit

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/airfix-tanks

A girl and boy are colouring in horse faces.

Tiny Troopers: Posters

  • 17 June 2019 10-10:45am, 11:15am-12pm

Bring your little ones to this monthly toddlers session, perfect for under-5s.

Sing, play and create with your little one at these fun, sensory sessions.

Each month, Tiny Troopers will have a different theme. For June, be inspired by the posters of Abram Games, the subject of the National Army Museum's new exhibition.

Sessions start at 10am and 11.20am, and last approximately 45 minutes.

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

  • 0-4

Admission

£5 per child

Website

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

A picture of Barney White Spunner's book Of Living Valour

The soldiers of Waterloo

  • 21 June 2019 11:30am-12:30pm

Join Sir Barney White-Spunner to hear about the experiences of the British soldiers who fought at the Battle of Waterloo.

Drawing on his 2015 book, ‘Of Living Valour: The Story of the Soldiers of Waterloo’, Barney White-Spunner will examine who these men were, where they came from, their experiences of the battle and what happened to them afterwards.

He will also explore what life was like in the Duke of Wellington’s hastily assembled army, deconstructing the notion that his soldiers were the ‘scum of the earth’.

Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner was commissioned into The Blues and Royals in 1976. Since then, he has commanded British and Allied troops on operations at every level from troop to division. He finished his career in 2012 as Commander Field Army.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/soldiers-waterloo

A cartoon of a couple swing dancing.

D-Day dance

  • 22 June 2019 7:30-11pm

Jive back in time to the 1940s at our authentic Second World War themed swing dance.

Learn some 1940s dance moves, such as the Lindy Hop and Jive, with event partners, Swingdance UK. Then jump on the dance floor to show off your new moves to the tunes of the South London Jazz Orchestra.

If that's not enough, there will be cabaret entertainment, and swing DJ Mr Kicks will be keeping you dancing between the band sets.

To make sure you're looking the part, expert hair and makeup artists from Pretty Me Vintage will create your perfect '40s style.

Strike a pose at the photo booth, pick a prop and take a snap - a perfect memento of the evening!

All that dancing makes for thirsty work. Our Cookhouse Café will be open serving wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks to keep you going!

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£20.00, Concessions: £18.00

Website

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

painting of the inside of an officer's tent

Tidy parlours and 'manly' wallpaper: Home-making in the British Indian Army

  • 28 June 2019 From 11:30am

Join curator Holly Winter as she explores the role of home-making in the British Indian Army of the 19th century.

Colonial India has long been characterised by historians as a destination for British men enacting a 'flight from domesticity'. Imperial masculinity has been closely associated with adventuring and war, and the home has been dismissed as irrelevant to the so-called 'soldier heroes' of the British Empire.

However, this characterisation is based primarily on 19th-century literature, rather than analysis of the lives of real men.

Drawing on the diaries, letters and memoirs of men who served in the armies in India, this talk will demonstrate that British officers in India were deeply attached to the concept of home, and enthusiastically created home-like environments during military service.

Rather than undermining their 'militaristic masculinity', Holly Winter will show that these home-building activities enabled men to demonstrate their authority, military experience and management skills.

Holly will connect the military world with the domestic world, and show how knowledge of textiles, furniture and domestic economy was surprisingly essential for British officers in 19th-century India.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/tidy-parlours-and-manly-wallpaper-home-making-british-indian-army

Picture of the outside of the National Army Museum from across the street.

At Ease early opening: Armed Forces Day special

  • 29 June 2019 8:30-10am

This Armed Forces Day, enjoy a relaxed early opening of the Museum where families with additional sensory needs can experience the galleries in a quieter environment.

From 8.30am to 10am, the Museum's 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.

Friends from Zoolabs will also be around for a relaxed handling session with their camouflage critters.

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 that the Museum opens to the general public at 9.30am, with the galleries opening at 10am.

Zoolab session is available as part of your ticket for the At Ease early opening.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/ease-early-opening-armed-forces-day-special

Entrance at the Museum to the Games exhibition

British Sign Language tour: The art of persuasion

  • 29 June 2019 2-3pm

Join Edward Richards for a BSL guided tour of the National Army Museum's special exhibition, 'The art of persuasion: Wartime posters by Abram Games'.

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.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£6.00, Concessions: £5.00

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/british-sign-language-tour-art-persuasion-0

A blonde girl sitting on her mum's lap gluing something together.

Camo crafts

  • 29 June 2019 2-4pm

Celebrate Armed Forces Day with free camouflage themed family crafts. This activity is suitable for ages 5+.

Learn about the extreme camouflaging capabilities of Ghillie suits and blend in to the background with our camo crafts.

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

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/camo-crafts

The Band of the Royal Yeomanry marching past Buckingham Palace

The Band of the Royal Yeomanry

  • 29 June 2019 From 1pm, From 3pm

Join the National Army Museum this Armed Forces Day as it welcomes the Band of the Royal Yeomanry for musical performances at 1pm and 3pm.

The Band of the Royal Yeomanry (Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) was formed in 1961 following the amalgamation of the Inns of Court Regiment with The City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) to form The Inns of Court & City Yeomanry.

The Inns of Court Regiment was raised in 1548 to help defend the country against a possible Spanish invasion. It was later more popularly known as ‘The Devil’s Own’, a nickname coined by King George III at a Royal Review in Hyde Park in 1803.

Many of the band’s musicians are former members of the Household Division and other Regular Army bands. The rest include freelance professional musicians, instrumental teachers and graduates.

The band undertakes many varied activities both at home and overseas, including musical support to regimental occasions in France and Belgium, as well as support to events in Saudi Arabia for the Military Band Institute for Armed Forces.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/band-royal-yeomanry

A container of soil and a scorpion glowing with luminescence

Camo critters

  • 29 June 2019 From 10am, From 11am

This Armed Forces Day, get up close and personal with creatures who camouflage. This activity is suitable for ages 5+.

Join ZooLab for a hands-on experience with camouflage critters. Discover how these colourful creatures adapt to their environment.

Sessions start at 10am and 11am.

Please purchase a free adult ticket with your child ticket. One adult can accompany up to 3 children.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

£5 per child

Website

https://www.nam.ac.uk/whats-on/camo-critters

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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