• 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

1800s

Explore 1800s stories

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 striven 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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Bronze saker gun, 1530s

A history of the National Army Museum in a dozen donations

Most of the objects held by the National Army Museum are in public ownership because of the generosity of individuals or organisations who have donated them.

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Disinfecting plague houses with a flushing engine, 1897

The Bombay plague

In 1896, bubonic plague broke out in Bombay. The fightback against this deadly epidemic was fully documented by a British military officer in a remarkable series of photographs.

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Shako plate, 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment, c1855

40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot

This infantry unit was formed in 1717. It continued in service until the 1881 British Army reforms, when it became part of The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment).

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Glengarry badge, 82nd Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales's Volunteers), c1874

82nd Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales's Volunteers)

This infantry unit was raised in 1793. It continued in service until the 1881 British Army reforms, when it became part of The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment).

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The Battle of Busaco, 27 September 1810

Peninsular War

From 1808 to 1814, the British Army, aided by its Spanish and Portuguese allies, held off superior numbers of French troops before driving them out of Iberia. They then carried the war into France, playing an important part in Napoleon's first overthrow.

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Capturing the Army

Capturing the Army

Today, the Army trains specialist photographers to capture its story. But the demand for images depicting soldiers' experiences is nothing new. Here we look at some of the earliest pioneers of military photography.

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Charge of the Light Brigade, 1854

Crimean War

The Crimean War was fought by Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia against Russia. For the British, the campaign was symbolised by military and logistical incompetence alongside the bravery and endurance of its soldiers.

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The Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885

Egypt and the Sudan

British forces occupied Egypt in 1882 to safeguard the Suez Canal and British financial interests. This led to further intervention in the neighbouring Sudan, where two wars against rebellious Islamic tribesmen were fought in hostile desert conditions.

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Explore 1800s events

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

7 September - 1 December 2020

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)

7 September - 1 December 2020

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

1 December 2020 - 23 July 2021

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

1 December 2020 - 23 July 2021

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

1 December 2020 - 23 July 2021

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

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 (Age 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 (Age 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 (Age 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..."