Last updated: 8 August 2012
This gallery examines the British Army’s role in the expansion and defence of British trade, political interest, and empire, and its effect on the shape of Britain and the world today.
Changing the World explores the Army’s role in the expansion and defence of the British Empire. From the global struggle against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France (1793-1815) through to the Boer War (1899-1902), we discover a period in which Britain rose to a dominant position among the European trading empires. This was an era of war and imperial expansion abroad and turbulent industrial and social change at home.
At the centre of the gallery is a 40 square metre model of the Battle of Waterloo (1815) with over 70,000 model soldiers brought to life with specially commissioned films that explore the conflict, the soldiers who fought it and the controversy surrounding the model’s construction.
Other highlights include displays on the Peninsular War (1808-1814), the Crimean War (1854-1856), the Army in India, the Zulu War (1879) and the Boer War (1899-1902). The South Asian, Caribbean and African contribution to the army is also explored, as are the effects of living under British rule.
Life-size figures from the Napoleonic and Victorian eras on display include a green-jacketed Rifleman of the 95th Regiment, a Naik, or Corporal, of the 53rd Bengal Native Infantry and a Zulu warrior.