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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Badge, 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, c1968

4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards

This armoured regiment was formed in 1922. It continued in British Army service until 1992, when it was merged into The Royal Dragoon Guards.

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Cap badge of The Royal Dragoon Guards, c1992

The Royal Dragoon Guards

This cavalry unit was formed in 1992 and operates as an armoured reconnaissance force. It has served in several deployments, including the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Other ranks' cap badge, The Queen’s Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards), c1920

The Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards)

This cavalry regiment was formed in 1685. It fought in many British Army campaigns until 1959, when it was merged into the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

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Other ranks' cap badge, 1st King’s Dragoon Guards, c1904

1st King's Dragoon Guards

This unit was the senior line cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed in 1685 and had a long and distinguished history until 1959, when it was merged into the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

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Other ranks’ cap badge, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, c1965

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

This unit is the senior regiment of the line in the British Army. It was formed in 1959 as an armoured reconnaissance regiment by merging two existing dragoon guards regiments.

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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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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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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'.

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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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Curator tour: Alfred Munnings
Tour

1 March 2019, 1.00pm

£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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Curator tour: Alfred Munnings
Tour

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