• CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Formation

Exploring historic Army roles in the Formation gallery
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Formation gallery

This gallery brings to life the origins, organisation and traditions of Britain’s army. It introduces its evolving role on the home, European and world stage, and explores the values that have motivated its soldiers during more than 350 years of unbroken service.

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Explore Formation stories

Detail from 'A Grand Review of the Army at Hounslow Heath, 1687'

A Grand Review of the Army at Hounslow Heath, 1687

This detailed drawing by Willem van de Velde the Elder portrays one of the earliest formal musterings of the Army. Here, we take a closer look at this grand spectacle that allowed King James II to flex his political and military muscle.

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Coatee worn at Waterloo by Brigade-Major Thomas Noel Harris, 1815

Waterloo coatee’s provenance confirmed

In 2015, the National Army Museum was presented with a rare coatee worn by Major Thomas Harris at the Battle of Waterloo. A combination of historical evidence and modern forensic analysis was used to confirm its authenticity.

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The Duke of Marlborough, 1702

The Duke of Marlborough: Corporal John

Marlborough’s long career as a soldier and statesmen spanned the reigns of five monarchs. His triumphs were not only due to his outstanding military talents, they were also a result of politics and patronage.

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Prince Charles visiting the Queen’s Dragoon Guards in Kosovo, 1999

The Sovereign’s soldiers

Whether participating in ceremonial events, visiting deployed troops, operating as regimental figureheads or personally serving in the Army, members of the Royal Family provide a constant and visible link between soldiers and their sovereign.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."