1st Reserve Regiment of Cavalry in training, 1914

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Cavalry on the Western Front

In the First World War, the cavalry could no longer deliver the decisive charges it had performed in the past. But it continued to carry out a variety of useful roles that contributed to British success.

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Explore Cavalry stories

Cap badge of The Royal Horse Guards, c1914

The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)

This cavalry unit was formed in 1650 and was the second-most senior regiment of the British Army. It served for over 300 years until 1969, when it was merged into The Blues and Royals.

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Other ranks’ cap badge, 1st The Royal Dragoons, c1935

The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons)

This unit was raised in 1661, making it one of the oldest cavalry regiments in British Army history. It served in many campaigns until 1969, when it was merged into The Blues and Royals.

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Cap badge, The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons), c1990

The Blues and Royals

Formed in 1969, this unit is now part of the Household Cavalry. It is the second-most senior regiment in the British Army and operates as both an armoured reconnaissance unit and a ceremonial guard of the monarch.

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Cap badge, The Household Cavalry, c1919

The Household Cavalry

This British Army corps operates as an armoured reconnaissance unit and a ceremonial guard of the monarch. Formed in 1992, it has served in the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Other ranks' cap badge, The Life Guards, c1958

The Life Guards

This cavalry unit is the senior regiment in the British Army, having been formed in the 1650s. It is now part of the Household Cavalry and operates as an armoured reconnaissance unit and a ceremonial guard.

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Pelisse, Zieten Hussars, worn by The Duke of Connaught, 1900s

A uniform fit for a prince

Flamboyant hussar uniforms belonging to Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, demonstrate the close dynastic links between European monarchies and the tradition of foreign royals serving as honorary heads of military units.

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Lord Strathcona’s Horse on the march, 1918

Beauty in desolation: Munnings and the First World War

In 1918, the artist Alfred Munnings was tasked with recording the wartime contribution of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and Forestry Corps. His paintings highlight the military role of horses, capturing their beauty in the war-affected landscapes of France.

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1st Reserve Regiment of Cavalry in training, 1914

Cavalry on the Western Front

In the First World War, the cavalry could no longer deliver the decisive charges it had performed in the past. But it continued to carry out a variety of useful roles that contributed to British success.

explore this story
Stables of The Buffs, 1914

Army horse care in the First World War

During the First World War, the Army relied on its horses to perform a wide range of jobs. The requisition, transportation and care of these animals was therefore of huge importance.

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Officer’s cap badge, 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, c1960

5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards

This armoured regiment was formed in 1922 from two existing dragoon units. It served until 1992, when it was amalgamated into The Royal Dragoon Guards.

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Cap badge, other ranks, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, c1900

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons

This cavalry regiment was raised in Ireland in 1689. It continued in British Army service until 1922, when it was merged into the 5th/6th Dragoons.

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Officer's cap badge, 13th Hussars, c1910 

13th Hussars

Formed in 1715, this cavalry unit had a long and distinguished service with the British Army. In 1922, it was merged into the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own).

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Explore Cavalry events

Call in the Cavalry
Exhibition

25 October 2018 - 9 June 2019

FREE

Call in the Cavalry

From flamboyant uniforms to fast horses, this exhibition looks at the shared heritage between the Hungarian and British hussars.

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Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918
Exhibition

30 November 2018 - 3 March 2019

£6.00

Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918

Sir Alfred Munnings was one of Britain's most celebrated equine artists. This exhibition features over 40 original paintings from his time with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

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'This whimsical and gallant soul': Sir Alfred Munnings and the First World War
Talk

4 January 2019, 11.30am

FREE

'This whimsical and gallant soul': Sir Alfred Munnings and the First World War

Dr Bill Teatheredge of the Munnings Art Museum talks about the extraordinary experiences of Alfred Munnings, both at home and on campaign with the Canadian Cavalry Brigade.

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Alfred Munnings: Memory, the War Horse and the Canadians in 1918
Talk

9 January 2019, 6.00pm

£15.00

Alfred Munnings: Memory, the War Horse and the Canadians in 1918

Join art historian Dr Jonathan Black and horse-racing journalist and presenter Brough Scott for an evening of discussion on their new book.

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The last cavalry war in Europe
Talk

11 January 2019, 11.30am

FREE

The last cavalry war in Europe

Adam Zamoyski’s talk will focus on the use of cavalry in Eastern Europe in the two years that followed the First World War.

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BSL tour: Alfred Munnings
Tour

19 January 2019, 2.00pm

£10.50

British Sign Language tour: Alfred Munnings

Join Edward Richards for a BSL guided tour of our major exhibition, 'Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918'.

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Curator tour: Alfred Munnings
Tour

23 January 2019, 11.00am

£10.50

Curator tour: Alfred Munnings

Join a curator on an hour-long tour of our exhibition, 'Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918'.

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Day in the Life: The Household Cavalry
Workshop

2 February 2019, 10.00am

FREE

Day in the Life: The Household Cavalry

Discover more about the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the role of horses in the Army in this day of talks, workshops and family activities.

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Behind the scenes: British cavalry and the Western Front
Workshop

5 February 2019, 6.00pm

£15.00

Behind the scenes: British cavalry and the Western Front

Join historian Allan Mallinson and curator Belinda Day for a unique insight into the British cavalry on the Western Front during the First World War.

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Horsing the British Army, 1914-18
Talk

8 February 2019, 11.30am

FREE

Horsing the British Army, 1914-18

Dr Graham Winton will discuss the challenges of supplying and caring for horses during the First World War.

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Curator tour: Alfred Munnings
Tour

14 February 2019, 11.00am

£10.50

Curator tour: Alfred Munnings

Join a curator on an hour-long tour of our exhibition, 'Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918'.

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BSL tour: Alfred Munnings
Tour

23 February 2019, 2.00pm

£10.50

British Sign Language tour: Alfred Munnings

Join Edward Richards for a BSL guided tour of our major exhibition, 'Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918'.

find out more

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