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
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!
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
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!
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
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.
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