• 10am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

1800s

Explore 1800s stories

Soldiers of The 3rd (East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs) defending the Colours at Albuera, 1811

Save the Colours!

Colours have been the focus of some of the most bitter fighting and magnificent acts of heroism in British Army history. Soldiers often fought to the last to preserve them in battle, and they continue to hold totemic significance for regiments today.

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Royal Army Temperance Association medal for 20 years' abstinence awarded to Private J H Smith, The Royal Munster Fusiliers, 1915 

‘Watch and Be Sober’: The story of Army temperance

This collection of Army temperance medals demonstrates the efforts made by officers and soldiers in the 19th and early 20th centuries to resist the temptation, and avoid the perils, of the demon drink.

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The 3rd Light Dragoons at Ferozeshah, 21 December 1845

First Sikh War

In 1845-46, the British fought a war against the Sikh Empire in the Punjab. After several bitterly fought battles, the conflict ended with the British taking partial control of the Sikh territories.

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The Battle of Chillianwala, 13 January 1849

Second Sikh War

In 1848-49, British-Indian forces were once again at war with the Sikh Empire. The campaign that raged across the Punjab eventually led to the region's full annexation by the British and the removal of one of the last Indian powers able to challenge British control of the subcontinent.

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Glengarry badge, 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot, c1874

30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot

Raised in 1689, this infantry regiment served in many campaigns until the 1881 Army reforms, when it was merged into the East Lancashire Regiment.

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Glengarry badge, other ranks, 59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot, c1874

59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot

Raised in 1755, this infantry unit served with the Army until the 1881 Childers Reforms, when it was amalgamated with the 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment to form the East Lancashire Regiment.

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Other ranks' glengarry badge, 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment, c1874

63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot

This infantry unit was raised in 1758. It served with the British Army until the 1881 reforms, when it was merged with the 96th Regiment to form The Manchester Regiment.

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Glengarry badge, other ranks, 96th Regiment of Foot, c1874

96th Regiment of Foot

This infantry unit was raised in 1824. It served with the British Army until the 1881 reforms, when it was merged with the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment to form The Manchester Regiment.

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Passing out parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, c1955

Sandhurst, officers and the role of history

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst has trained the Army’s officers since 1802. For generations, its officer cadets have endeavoured to live up to the academy’s motto: ‘Serve to Lead’.

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2nd Battalion 5th Gurkha Rifles at Ahnai Tangi in Waziristan, 14 January 1920

The North-West Frontier

Between 1849 and 1947, British and Indian soldiers undertook a series of punitive expeditions against the fiercely independent tribesmen of this wild and mountainous region.

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Gold 20 years' good conduct medal, 13th Regiment of Foot, c1825

Regimental medals

Before campaign medals, gallantry decorations and good conduct awards were introduced in the 19th century, many regiments rewarded outstanding service with their own ‘unofficial’ medals.

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Helmet plate, officer, 1st West India Regiment, c1880

The West India Regiments

Raised in the 1790s to defend Britain's Caribbean colonies, the West India Regiments fought as infantry in several campaigns. They remained a part of the British Army until disbandment in 1927.

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Explore 1800s events

Florence Nightingale tending to wounded soldiers at Scutari Hospital
Primary (virtual)

1 September 2021 - 22 July 2022

FREE

Florence and Mary (virtual)

Discover the historic contributions of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole and why they have been remembered (or not) over time.

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’Mutinous Sepoys’, c1857
Secondary (virtual)

1 September 2021 - 22 July 2022

FREE

The Indian 'Mutiny'? (virtual)

Analyse evidence from documents and artefacts, then curate an exhibition to make a case for whether the conflict was a mutiny or war of independence.

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Florence and Mary
SEND workshop

6 September 2021 - 20 July 2022

FREE

Florence and Mary (SEND)

Find out about the work of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole and how they helped the soldiers in the Crimea.

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The Indian 'Mutiny'?
Secondary workshop

6 September 2021 - 20 July 2022

FREE

The Indian 'Mutiny'?

Analyse evidence from documents and artefacts, then curate an exhibition to make a case for whether the conflict was a mutiny or war of independence.

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Florence and Mary
Primary workshop

6 September 2021 - 20 July 2022

FREE

Florence and Mary

Discover the historic contributions of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole and why they have been remembered (or not) over time.

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Explore 1800s learning resources

Operation Science: Signals
Video

KS2-KS3 (Ages 7 to 14)

Operation Science: Signals

Step into the world of Army signalling in the latest instalment of Operation Science.

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Marvellous Mary Seacole
Home Activity

KS1-KS2 (Ages 5 to 11)

Marvellous Mary Seacole

Discover more about Mary Seacole and her work at the British Hotel during the Crimean War.

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Florence and Mary: Scavenger hunt
Home Activity

KS1-KS2 (Ages 5 to 11)

Florence and Mary: Scavenger hunt

Try our at-home scavenger hunt to help Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole on their journey to the Crimea.

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How to Draw: Victorian edition
Home Activity

KS1-KS2 (Ages 5 to 11)

How to Draw: Victorian edition

Use our simple step-by step instructions to have a go at drawing Florence Nightingale, her pet owl and the ship she took to the Crimea.

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Florence and Mary
Trail

KS1 (Ages 5 to 7)

Florence and Mary

Follow this gallery trail to find out about soldiers' lives during the Crimean War.

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Army and Empire
Trail

KS4-KS5 (Ages 14+)

Army and Empire

Follow this gallery trail to become a documentary filmmaker exploring the British Empire in Africa.

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War and society
Trail

KS4-KS5 (Ages 14+)

War and society

Follow this gallery trail to become a time-travelling war correspondent reporting on conflicts of the 19th century.

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Join the conversation

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