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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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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Making an impression: The art of portrait painting
Workshop

26 February 2019, 6.00pm

£10.00

Making an impression: The art of portrait painting

Join Ann Witheridge, the founder of London Fine Arts Studio, for this lively portrait painting demonstration.

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Curator tour: Alfred Munnings
Tour

27 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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The Drum Horse in the Picture
Talk

1 March 2019, 11.30am

FREE

The Drum Horse in the Picture

Christopher Joll examines the British cavalry's use of drum horses and tells the story of Paddy II, the subject of a famous painting by Sir Alfred Munnings.

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