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.
Posts Categorized: News
Christmas Greetings from the Front
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.
A New Research Resource for Irish Soldiers in the Great War
The National Army Museum recently digitised the enlistment books of the disbanded Irish regiments from 1920-22. Discover how these can be used to shed light on the service of soldiers in the First World War.
George Higginson: Final Days on the Somme
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
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?
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
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?
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.
Exploring Talbot House: The Original Every Man’s Club
Ahead of our talk on 6 October 2016, we explore the story of Talbot House, a place for soldiers of all ranks to escape from the horrors of the front line during the First World War.
The Game Changer: Britain Introduces Tanks to the Battlefield
On the morning of 15 September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, Britain unleashed on an unsuspecting enemy one of its most closely guarded secret weapons – the tank.
The Contribution of the Cadbury Women Workers during the First World War
Ahead of her talk on 22 September 2016, historical biographer and novelist Fiona Joseph celebrates the unrecognised contribution of Cadbury women workers to the war effort on the Home Front.
How Army Wives Coped with Loss During the First World War
Ahead of her talk on 8 September 2016, author Midge Gillies explores the story of army wife Clare Sheridan and her use of spiritualism to cope with the loss of her husband.
Australian Military Exemption Courts in the First World War
Ahead of her talk on 8 September 2016, historian Jennifer McNeice gives an insight into the impact of military exemption courts on Australia’s decision not to implement conscription, during the First World War.
Commemorating the Somme: 100 Years On
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
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.
Lieutenant-Colonel Carton de Wiart on the Somme
Here, we explore the story of Lieutenant-Colonel Adrian Carton de Wiart, whose Victoria Cross is on loan at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum for their Somme centenary exhibition.
The Use of Gender in First World War Propaganda
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Illiterate but Literary: The Censored Correspondence of Indian Soldiers in France, 1914-18
In a recent Lunchtime Lecture, Dr David Omissi of the University of Hull examined the personal correspondence of Indian soldiers who fought on the Western Front.
We Were All There: Black Cultural Archives Takeover
Last month the National Army Museum joined forces with the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton to highlight the contribution made by British Empire and Commonwealth soldiers in the First World War.
What Do ‘Commonwealth’ and ‘British Empire’ Mean Today?
Over 3 million soldiers from across the Commonwealth and Empire volunteered to fight for Britain in the First World War. To mark Remembrance 2015, we asked the public, and a few famous faces, what ‘Commonwealth’ and ‘British Empire’ mean today.
British Women on the Serbian Front in the First World War
As featured at a recent Lunchtime Lecture, military historian Alexandra Tomic tells the remarkable story of the female volunteer medical staff who travelled to Serbia at the height of the worst typhoid epidemic in history.
Black Soldiers in the First World War
As part of Black History Month, we remember the significant contribution of black soldiers to the British cause during the First World War.
The Brodie Helmet
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
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
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
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.
Comparing Commanders: Waterloo vs First World War
As the nation commemorates the Battle of Waterloo in its bicentenary year, we contrast the commanders of the British Army in 1915 with those 100 years earlier in 1815.
The Voluntary Heroes: Lieutenant John ‘Jackie’ Smyth
Discover the story of Lieutenant John ‘Jackie’ Smyth, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for leading a death-defying mission on the Western Front. In this video Smyth’s grandson, Andrew, recounts his story.
NAM Goes to Ypres
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
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.
The Irish Soldier’s Experience of the First World War
Lar Joye of the National Museum of Ireland brings to life the experience of Irish soldiers during the First World War, placing particular emphasis on the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.
A Band of Brothers
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
Love Letters of the First World War
As Valentine’s Day approaches we have searched our archives to share some of the heart-warming love letters sent from the battlefields of the Great War.
Britain’s Intelligence in the First World War
Following a recent Lunchtime Lecture on the subject of special operations and spies, we decided to look back at the efforts of the British Intelligence Corps in the First World War.
The First World War in Film
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
Influential British Commanders of 1914
Who were the most influential British commanders of the early months of the First World War? Find out what some of our historians had to say. Do you agree?
The Uniform and Equipment of 1914
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Posters of the First World War: Authors’ Top Choices
As the new National Army Museum publication ‘Posters of the First World War’ goes on sale, we ask the authors about their favourite posters from the book.
Outbreak 1914: Welsh Regiments in Focus
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
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.