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The New National Army Museum Galleries

Last updated: 7 February 2017

Following the announcement that the new National Army Museum will be opening in March 2017, here’s a glimpse of what to expect from our five new state-of-the-art galleries.

Over 2,500 objects will be coming out of storage, many of which have undergone conservation work, to take their place in one of our five new permanent galleries – Soldier, Army, Battle, Society and Insight.

'Jimi Classic Colour, 1967', by Gered Mankowitz, going on display in the new Society gallery

Soldier gallery

The first gallery visitors will see is Soldier. This gallery follows the life of a soldier from joining the army, training, daily life and the reality of crime and punishment onto both combat and non-combat roles, and finally coming home.

In this gallery, visitors can have a medical to find out if they could become a soldier, and learn how to march with a drill sergeant. Highlights on display include Crimean Tom, a cat found during the Crimean War and brought back to Britain as a pet, and James McGuire’s Victoria Cross, which he received for gallantry during the Indian Mutiny - but lost when he was convicted of stealing his uncle’s cow!

Army gallery

The British Army has played a major role in the political development of Britain, and has had a huge impact on global history. The Army gallery delves into this story, charting the history of the army as an institution, and looks at how it tries to remain relevant through technological and social change.

The gallery will showcase the first official representation of black soldiers in the army with the Regimental Colour of the West India Regiment, as well as displaying modern recruitment posters.

Regimental Colour of the West India Regiment going on display in the new Army gallery

Battle gallery

The Battle gallery explores the British experience of battle through four eras, from the 1640s to the present day. We’ve brought to life the Battle of Waterloo with a new multimedia interactive, allowing visitors to get up close to the iconic Siborne Model and explore the battle in their own way. Visitors can also learn how to drum a battle command and even drive a tank!

Society gallery

But how does the British Army impact society? From music and journalism, toys and fashion, to medicine and technology, the Society gallery looks at the British Army as both a cultural and military force. Featuring a Burberry trench coat, Action Man and new acquisitions including Jimi Hendrix by photographer Gered Mankowitz, this gallery will showcase the army’s often surprising influence on popular culture.

Burberry trenchcoat going on display in the new Society gallery

Insight gallery

The final gallery is Insight, which looks at the impact the British Army has had on the rest of the world, focusing on Germany, Scotland, Ghana, Sudan and Punjab. It includes fresh and insightful interviews with communities from these areas, including their thoughts on their relationship with Britain and the army.

Among the objects on display are items relating to the King’s German Legion, who fought for Britain against Napoleon, and a Jacobite glass engraved with cryptic symbols used by those hoping for a return of the exiled Stuarts.

Stay up-to-date with the Museum’s transformation, and hear more news about the galleries by following us on Facebook and Twitter or signing up to our e-newsletter. #NewNAM

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26 comments

ruth walsh
23 January 2017, 5.22pm

LOVE THIS! ABOUT TIME

LOVE THIS! ABOUT TIME

Andy Smerdon
23 January 2017, 5.55pm

Just a strange observation

Just a strange observation for you . I am somewhat confused as to the inclusion of Jimi Hendrix and his wearing of a fictitious French style of Pelisse and Gilit .. As the national BRITISH Army Museum i do find this item as strange to say the least and completely stupid at best.. Forgive me for pointing this out but the item Hendrix is wearing is not even based on a real British army uniform item let alone any connection to the British Army.
I must say this is very disappointing after such a long and expensive refit of your museum

Phillip Rees
24 January 2017, 11.07am

Excellent and much needed at

Excellent and much needed at this time when so many Barracks and Army locations are due to drop out of view, and therefore society, by closing!!

Roy Derrick
24 January 2017, 1.47pm

This is great news but your

This is great news but your website does not make it easy to find where you are, Where is the New National Army Museum?
I cannot find an address or a "Find Us" tab. This would be very helpful and may increase the number of visitors, if they can find you.
Home page should cotain this vital info.

Davy P
24 January 2017, 3.14pm

Where is the museum?

Where is the museum?

Stewart
24 January 2017, 3.31pm

Where is it? In the middle

Where is it? In the middle of the country I hope.

Peter Winter
24 January 2017, 3.43pm

I look forward to visiting

I look forward to visiting

Andre Palfrey-Martin
24 January 2017, 4.25pm

I only hope that this new

I only hope that this new layout/design and contents will be much better undertaken than the old Imperial War Museum, which to be polite was a designers joke. The museum is about THE BRITISH ARMY and as such this should be to the forefront with all that is displayed and explained. As somebody has mentioned, many of the Military Museums are to go because of government cut back in funding, so this will end up being one of a few in years to come, and as such very important to the whole concept and understanding of the military and in particular the ARMY way of life. I look forward to visiting and seeing the new project.

Ian McVicker
24 January 2017, 4.46pm

Love Jimi Hnedricks...PS The

Love Jimi Hnedricks...PS The museum is in the middle of CHELSEA! Well done, cant wait to visit.. yes its different and yes SOME wont like as they dont like change however lets call it Evolution and not revolution!!!!

Mike Vokes
24 January 2017, 5.23pm

I agree entirely with the

I agree entirely with the observations of Roy Derrick above. Whereabouts of museum not all easy to find on the website ... perhaps it is a military 'need to know' secret !

Keith Sapsted
24 January 2017, 5.46pm

great news, hope to explore

great news, hope to explore in April when on a visit to London.
Glad the Siborne diorama has received a make over and hopefully given the prominence it deserves

Martin Davies
24 January 2017, 7.51pm

Good Day All, I have been

Good Day All,
I have been visiting the NAM in Chelsea/Sloane Square since I was a boy of 13 - over 40 years ago ! I was also a member of the wonderful reading room there.
I loved the almost antique feel of the museum, as a backdrop to the wonderous glass cases full of the old uniforms and weapons.
I also used to attend some of the lectures and very good they were too.
I am fearful that a 'IWM' designer/dilution job has been done to this sacred place, and whilst I appreciate change and evolution is inevitable, I hope it is not at the sacrifice of the comprehensive British soldiers story through the ages.
PS: Jimi Hendrix's jacket is actually a Crimean 11th Hussars jacket, as worn by Captain Nolan in the famous Charge of the Light Brigade from the 1960's film of the same name. It was worn by the wonderful actor David Hemmings.

Philip Davies
24 January 2017, 8.30pm

2,500 objects on display in

2,500 objects on display in The National Museum of the British army, What % of your holdings does this represent? How many artefacts were on display in the old museum in lets say the year 2000? How does this compare to the Royal Army museum in Brussels, or Les Invalides Army Museum in Paris?

Khalid Jaffery
25 January 2017, 2.59pm

I have been visiting this

I have been visiting this Museum regularly for the last 25 years or so,and loved the artifacts on display,and the overall atmosphere.I hope the new building looks like a Museum,and not an Art Gallery!While change is welcome and inevitable,the focus should remain on the objects on display.I'm sure a lot of thought must have gone into it.Waiting to visit the new premises.

S M Grant
25 January 2017, 4.09pm

I visited the old museum

I visited the old museum which was very interesting many years ago as it showed a great deal about some of the units I served with in germany especially the fulda gap region. This new museum will have a fresh feel to it and i look forwards to seeing how it represents the army going into the 21st century

Susan Ahearne
25 January 2017, 4.21pm

Cannot wait to visit this,

Cannot wait to visit this, looks fantastic

David John
26 January 2017, 12.27pm

Sounds like another

Sounds like another "renovation" to make a museum about left wing stuff rather than its nominal subject.

Barrett J Carr
26 January 2017, 12.43pm

Enjoyed the NAM and the IWM

Enjoyed the NAM and the IWM back in 1983 & 84, Disappointed in the IWM visit last year and the fact the NAM was closed. Will visit the NAM this year but give the IWM a miss, on second thoughts I might visit the IWM just to have a slower visit to the VC exhibit.

Robert Halle
26 January 2017, 7.07pm

The address is under the

The address is under the contact link at the top of the site.

National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
Chelsea
London SW3 4HT

John Treadaway
28 January 2017, 5.05pm

I'm a fan of Hendrix. That

I'm a fan of Hendrix. That has no place in this museum. The V&A, yes. The NAM - no. What on earth are you thinking?

john tidy
31 January 2017, 7.07pm

At least Jimi Hendrix was a

At least Jimi Hendrix was a veteran. 101st Airborne US Army, discharged honourably early 1960s due to injury from para jump. So perhaps the exhibit covers this period in his life too?

Nigel Groom
5 February 2017, 9.51am

As a regular visitor over

As a regular visitor over many years, I am deeply alarmed by the direction that the museum seems to be taking. Rather than being a place for academic study it seems to be "dumbing down" with, for example, "interactive displays". We all know from experience of other museums that these work for while before getting old and delapidated and encourage groups of children to become rowdy. The choice of galleries also seems to reflect a degree of "political correctness".
However I shall be one of the first though the doors following your re opening and am hoping to be proved very wrong!

Pat Benatmane
5 February 2017, 10.39pm

Can't wait to see Marengo.

Can't wait to see Marengo.

brian hillman
8 February 2017, 9.13am

Looking forward to the

Looking forward to the opening

Roy Dutton
16 February 2017, 2.45pm

I really don't understand why

I really don't understand why Hendrix Jacket is included in your exhibits.He did enlist in the Army in 1961 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, where he was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.However I may be mistaken, but I don't think this was the actual uniform be wore.

Terry Camplin
19 February 2017, 7.29pm

You are among some of the

You are among some of the caretakers of our National Heritage to preserve our history and show us the public the pride that is the BRITISH ARMY, please don't water it down just to appeal to the masses, I like so many awaited the grand opening of the IWM and all but for the WW1 exhibition they have took away many of its once excellent items. I hope you have kept those fabulous displays for our future generations to see ?

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