A Fragile Record: The Richmond Castle Graffiti

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A floral lace design drawn by W.J. Angrave, conscientious objector, July 1916

Ahead of his talk on 26 January 2017, English Heritage curator Kevin Booth explains the historical significance of graffiti left by convicted conscientious objectors of the First World War at Richmond Castle.

Christmas Greetings from the Front

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Embroidered Christmas card sent from Private Philip J L Poole, Army Service Corps to his mother in 1917

With thousands of men and women serving away from home during the First World War, keeping in touch with loved ones at Christmas was especially important. Here are a few of our favourite festive cards showing how soldiers sent seasonal cheer back home.

George Higginson: Final Days on the Somme

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George Neale Higginson (Left)

Following the release of her new book, ‘Somme: 141 Days, 141 Lives’, Alexandra Churchill (with co-author Andrew Holmes) explores the story of Lieutenant George Higginson, the commanding officer of a team sent to rescue 120 men left stranded on the Somme battlefield.

Conscription: A Student’s View

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Students debate conscription at the Houses of Parliament

The Museum worked in partnership with the Houses of Parliament Education Service to host a schools debate asking whether your country has the right to make you fight. Here, student journalist Gaia Masullo, from St Thomas More Language College, gives a run-down of the debate.

Conscription: What Would You Do?

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Conscription: What Would You Do?

100 years ago the British Government introduced conscription for the first time. Here we take a look at some of the speeches from politicians on both sides of the debate, and ask what you would do if conscription was reintroduced today.

Indian Soldiers in the First World War

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Indian soldiers on the Somme 1916

Ahead of her talk on 8 November 2016, Shrabani Basu looks at the First World War through the eyes of Indian soldiers and demonstrates their huge contribution on the Western Front.

Kitchener: Hero or Anti-Hero?

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Field Marshal Lord Kitchener in service dress, South Africa, 1901

Lord Kitchener remains a figure of great controversy and debate even now, a century after his death. Ahead of his talk on 2 November 2016, Dr C Brad Faught gives an insight into writing a modern biography about a complex military man of the British Empire.

Commemorating the Somme: 100 Years On

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Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, 1 July 2016

A small team from the Museum went to Thiepval in France to attend the official centenary event commemorating the Battle of the Somme. The ceremony saw 10,000 members of the public, dignitaries and military personnel from across Europe join together to remember those who served.

Rewriting the Somme

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Hugh Sebag-Montefiore

On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the British Army lost more men in a single day than it had ever lost before. Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, author of Somme: Into The Breach, describes the causes of one of the worst days, if not the worst day, in British military history.

The Use of Gender in First World War Propaganda

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'Every Fit Woman Can Release a Fit Man', 1917

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March), we’re hosting a public discussion about the representation of women and gender in recruitment propaganda. Ahead of this event, we explore how gender is used in three First World War recruitment posters.

Battle Police on the Western Front

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RMP Museum images

Many allegations of Military Police misconduct on the Western Front have surfaced over the years. As the nation commemorates the First World War, Regimental Secretary and Director of the Royal Military Police Museum, Colonel Jeremy Green OBE, contends that now is the time to set the record straight.

Digging the Trenches

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Jakob Hones (second from right)

On 25 February 2016, battlefield archaeologist Andy Robertshaw will talk about the five missing First World War soldiers identified as a result of his many digs in France and Belgium. Here Andy reveals the excitement of his very first trench project.

The Australian Imperial Force

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A Vickers machine gun team marching past a working party heading in the opposite direction, 1916

To mark Australia Day 2016, we take a look at how the relationship between Britain and Australia encouraged men to volunteer for the Australian Imperial Force in their thousands, playing a vital role in the British war effort.

Fritz & Tommy: Across the Barbed Wire

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Fritz (NCO of IR 119 (Württemberg)) and Tommy (Private, Essex Regiment)

In our upcoming Celebrity Speaker lecture, First World War historians Peter Doyle and Robin Schäfer will explore personal letters and diaries from boys on both sides. Here, Peter and Rob give a sneak peak of what’s included.

The Evacuation of Gallipoli

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Anzac in the snow, November 1915

One hundred years ago, on 9 January 1916, the Allies completed the evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula. This was the most successful chapter of a disastrous campaign fought against Turkish forces.

The Brodie Helmet

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Mark I Brodie pattern steel helmet, 1916

The ‘Brodie’ helmet was the first combat helmet distributed to all serving British and Commonwealth soldiers during the First World War. To mark the centenary of its adoption by the Army, we take a look at how the Brodie was deployed for service.

Anzacs Get a Starring Role

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Image from the 'Anzac Book', written and illustrated by the men who served at Gallipoli, and published in 1916

The Gallipoli campaign has resonated amongst the nations involved for the last 100 years. Here we take a look at how soldiers from Australia and New Zealand continue to be remembered in everyday life.

Commonwealth & Empire Display Goes on Tour

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Commonwealth & Empire Display, Lambeth Country Show 2015

This summer the NAM’s Outreach team will explore the Commonwealth and Empire contribution to the First World War. We’ll be taking a family-friendly pop-up display to events across the country, bringing to life the often-forgotten stories of soldiers from far and wide.

A Soldier’s Art: Charles Sargeant Jagger

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Royal Artillery Memorial, Hyde Park Corner

As part of a learning project with Westminster Archives, Learning Officer Sam Doty ran a schools creative workshop inspired by the art of Charles Sargeant Jagger. Here she takes a look at how the First World War influenced the artist’s career.

NAM Goes to Ypres

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Cloth Hall, Ypres, Belgium, 2015

As First World War commemorations continue, a group of our curators travelled to Ypres to look at how the history of the conflict is being treated locally.

The Empire & Commonwealth Contribution

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Empire & Commonwealth: Gallipoli

A diverse range of soldiers from all over the Empire, Commonwealth and Dominions made a significant contribution to the British war effort. To coincide with the anniversary of Gallipoli, the Museum created a series of animated films which explore this theme.

A Band of Brothers

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A Mark I tank surrounded by troops of 122nd Brigade, 17 September 1916

The War Graves Adjudication team at the National Army Museum researches individuals who served in the British Army during the First and Second World Wars. As part of their work they often uncover fascinating and unique stories, including that of Gustav Alfred Maybaum and his brothers.

The Letters of Captain Maurice Asprey

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Photograph by Maurice Asprey: Early trenches, 1914

NAM volunteers Rod Cooper and Chris Ward embarked on a project to collate the letters and photographs from First World War soldier Captain Maurice Asprey into a learning resource. Here Rod shares snippets of Captain Asprey’s story.

Durham Light Infantry Goes to War!

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Outbreak 1914! Durham Light Infantry Goes to War

NAM recently partnered with the Durham Light Infantry Museum on an exhibition telling the unique story of that regiment and its soldiers during the early months of the First World War. Following the closure of this fascinating display, we share some of the regiment’s experiences.

Prisoners of the Great War

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Soldiers treat a wounded German prisoner of war, 1917

Last month’s edition of Soldiers’ Stories featured Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Bond DSO, whose artwork provides a visual record of his time as a prisoner of war (POW). This inspired us to delve deeper into the story of soldiers in captivity during the First World War.

Caring for First World War Heirlooms

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Margaret Selina Caswell in uniform, Women's Legion, 1916

At our latest workshop in Folkestone, attendees brought along their First World War family treasures and gained expert insight on how to care for them effectively. Here we investigate how to look after two of the most common types of First World War relic.

The First World War in Five Objects

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Service tunic, 1916

A recent National Army Museum event at which Professor Gary Sheffield presented The First World War in 100 Objects has inspired us to search our Collection for five iconic artefacts that evoke the conflict.

The First World War in Film

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Charlie Chaplin in a promotional photograph for 'Shoulder Arms', 1918

Last weekend, we held a film festival in Folkestone, screening some of our favourite motion pictures inspired by the First World War. Here we take a look at a selection of lesser-known films set during the conflict.

Story of a Missing Soldier: Private James A Feist

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Prisoner-of-war record for Private James Feist, East Surrey Regiment

Researchers from the War Graves Adjudication Unit recently joined the NAM team to research individuals who served in the British Army in the First and Second World Wars. They often come across unique and interesting stories, including the mystery of Private James A Feist.

Soldiers’ Final Effects Go Online

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Private John Condon’s entry in the Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929

The Museum has digitised one of its biggest archives of British Army records. These are now available to search online via family history website Ancestry.co.uk.

How to Sell a War

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'Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?', 1915

The National Army Museum has produced a series of learning videos, exploring how Britain used propaganda as a recruiting tool in the First World War. Here’s what we got up to!

The Christmas Truce

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‘A friendly chat with the enemy’, Christmas 1914

There is still much debate about what really happened during the Christmas Truce of 1914. Using soldiers’ diaries from our Collection we explore some of the details of this historic event.

Christmas Gifts on the Front Line

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Princess Mary gift tin, 1914

With the seasonal festivities upon us, we have searched our Collection for a story that reveals a little of what Christmas was like for those serving on the front line 100 years ago.

Scientific Advances in the First World War

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A mobile x-ray unit at Bailleul, c1915

Inspired by Taylor Downing’s recent talk for the Museum, and to coincide with his new book, Secret Warriors: Key Scientists, Code-breakers and Propagandists of the Great War, we look at some of the scientific pioneers of the war-effort.

War Pigeons

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The National Army Museum holds a First World War carrier pigeon capsule which had never before been opened. Last week we hired specialist conservators to reveal the 100-year-old message held inside.

Does Britain Romanticise the First World War?

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Poppies at the Tower, 2014

At a recent event organised by the New Statesman magazine and the Royal British Legion, Emma Mawdsley, Senior Collections Content Curator at the National Army Museum, took part in a discussion asking if Britain romanticises its military past. Emma shares her point of view here.

The History of the Poppy

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Chattri Memorial, 2008

To mark Remembrance Day, we tell the story of how and why the poppy came to be Britain’s memorial symbol for our fallen soldiers.

Women at War

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First Aid Nursing Yeomanry ambulance

To mark the 100th anniversary of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry going to war, we tell the story of how this specialist unit came about and explore their experiences of working on the front line.

The Commonwealth Call to Arms

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Subadar Khudadad Khan VC, 10th Baluch Regiment, c1935

To demonstrate the response of Commonwealth soldiers at the outbreak of the First World War, we have selected a few stories of individual heroism from across the world.

Now and Then: Guns, Gear and Kit

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British soldiers in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, c2012

From puttees to gaiters, brass buttons to waterproof socks, find out how the uniform, equipment and weaponry of soldiers in 1914 compares to that of today.

The Uniform and Equipment of 1914

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'Come Now, Your arms uniform and accoutrements are ready waiting for you, Be honest with yourself', 1915

Providing warmth, camouflage and protection, good uniform and equipment were vital tools for soldiers in 1914. This week, we take a look at how the British Army kitted out its troops at the outbreak of war.

Communication on the Front Line

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Mk II wireless transmitter set, c1918

Fast, effective communication on the front line was vital during the First World War. Yet battlefields were treacherous and unpredictable, making consistent communication difficult. We explore how the Army kept its soldiers talking.

Animals in the First World War

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Dog with first-aid and stimulants is sent by his Royal Army Medical Corps handler to find wounded in inaccessible parts of no-man's land

Throughout the First World War, animals were heavily relied upon by the British Army. From cavalry to communication, we take a look at how they contributed to the war effort and the vital role they played in helping our troops.

The Raising of Kitchener’s Army

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Troops practice drill at a UK training camp

When war was declared in August 1914, many believed it would be ‘over by Christmas’. Lord Kitchener, then Secretary of State for War, suspected differently, however, and set about creating a ‘New Army’ to fight in the long term. Here we take a look at how Britain’s men prepared for battle.

The Royal Fusiliers and the Victoria Cross

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A memorial plaque was placed on Nimy Bridge to mark the place where Godley and Dease made their stand.

With the opening of the National Army Museum’s Outbreak! 1914: Royal Fusiliers Go to War this week, we take a look at the remarkable achievements of the Royal Fusiliers during the first few weeks of the Great War.

Commemorating the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs

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NAM's volunteer 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment at History Live!, Kelmarsh Hall, July 2014

As the National Army Museum tours the UK with our recreated 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment, we focus on the original regiment’s significant contribution in the First World War.

Harbour Canteen Visitors’ Books

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Harbour Canteen Visitors' Books

We take an in-depth look at the fascinating Harbour Canteen Visitors’ Books, featured in our ‘Your Country Calls: Enlistment to Embarkation’ exhibition in Folkestone.

Outbreak 1914: Welsh Regiments in Focus

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2nd Battalion, The South Wales Borderers fought alongside Japanese and Indian comrades at the Siege of Tsingtao in 1914

With the first of the National Army Museum (NAM)’s commemorative exhibitions launching in Cardiff last week, we decided to take a closer look at some of the Welsh regiments’ contributions to the Great War.

Welcome to First World War in Focus

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'Boys, come over here - you're wanted'

We’re excited today to launch First World War in Focus, the latest venture in the National Army Museum (NAM)’s commemorative activity marking the First World War’s centenary years.