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

Empire

Mutinous sepoys, 1857

Mutinous sepoys, 1857
Featured

Why did the Indian Mutiny happen?

In 1857, Indian soldiers rose up against their British commanders. They were joined by native rulers and thousands of ordinary people in a struggle that threatened to destroy British colonial power on the Indian subcontinent.

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Explore Empire stories

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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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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Tipu Sultan's war turban taken during the capture of Seringapatam in 1799

Tipu Sultan's war turban

A rare helmet belonging to one of India's greatest warrior princes sheds light on the relatively unknown Mysore Wars, a series of conflicts in the late 18th century that helped decide the political future of southern India.

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Saving the guns at Colenso, 15 December 1899

Boer War

Between 1899 and 1902, the British Army fought a bitter colonial war against the Boers in South Africa. After initial setbacks and a long period of guerrilla warfare, the British eventually prevailed, but not without adopting controversial tactics.

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Saving the guns at Maiwand, 1880

Second Afghan War

In 1878-80, British-Indian forces fought a war to ensure that Afghanistan remained free from Russian interference. Although eventually successful, the British suffered several setbacks in their struggle to control the volatile country.

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Tribesmen from Kohistan, a region north-east of Kabul, c1842

First Afghan War

Between 1839 and 1842, British imperial forces fought a bitter war in Afghanistan. Initially successful, the British eventually withdrew having suffered one of the worst military disasters of the 19th century.

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A Mahsud tribesmen, c1919

Third Afghan War and the Revolt in Waziristan

In May 1919, conflict broke out between British India and Afghanistan. Although peace was quickly agreed, the violence spread to the North West Frontier, challenging British control of that region.

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The Battle of Minden, 1759

Seven Years War

Fought between 1756 and 1763, this conflict can claim to be the original 'world war'. Franco-British fighting in North America and India became part of a general war in Europe with far-reaching consequences.

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General Sir Charles Keightly, Commander in Chief Operation Muskateer, meets French paratroopers at Suez, 1956

Suez Crisis

In 1956, British and French forces invaded Egypt in collusion with Israel. Although the military operation was a success, the political storm it caused led to a humiliating withdrawal.

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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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General Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1894

Frederick Roberts: Bobs

Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts was one of Britain’s most successful military commanders of the 19th century, winning victories during the Second Afghan War and revitalising the British campaign in the Boer War. 

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Explore Empire events

’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.

find out more
A British medical orderly treats a wounded German soldier, c1916
Secondary (virtual)

1 September 2021 - 22 July 2022

FREE

Trench medicine: Illnesses, injuries and their treatment (virtual)

Explore artefacts and sources on the causes and treatment of injuries and illnesses on the Western Front during the First World War, and assess the impact of these innovations.

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First World War recruiting poster showing a line of civilians turning into soldiers
Secondary (virtual)

1 September 2021 - 22 July 2022

FREE

What is Total War? (virtual)

Investigate the concept of Total War by tracing the steps taken to prepare for industrialised conflict in the First and Second World Wars.

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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.

find out more
What is Total War?
Secondary workshop

6 September 2021 - 20 July 2022

FREE

What is Total War?

Investigate the concept of Total War by tracing the steps taken to prepare for industrialised conflict in the First and Second World Wars.

find out more
Trench medicine: Illnesses, injuries and their treatment
Secondary workshop

6 September 2021 - 20 July 2022

FREE

Trench medicine: Illnesses, injuries and their treatment

Explore artefacts and sources on the causes and treatment of injuries and illnesses on the Western Front during the First World War, and assess the impact of these innovations.

find out more

Explore Empire learning resources

Soldiers of the British West Indies Regiment, France, 1916
Timeline

KS3-KS4 (Ages 11 to 16)

West Indian Soldier: Interactive Timeline

Explore the history of Caribbean people in the British Army, and of the British Army in the Caribbean, through an interactive timeline.

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Askaris moving a field gun into position, c1914
Source Pack

KS2-KS5 (Ages 7 to 18)

Black History in the National Army Museum Collections

Explore the history of black soldiers in the British Army through collection-based objects and stories.

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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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Take a view on soldiers
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Take a view on soldiers

Explore the real people performing a soldier's tasks, their reasons for joining and the lasting impact it can have on their lives.

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Take a view on the army's role
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Take a view on the army's role

Explore what the army does and why; from fighting in sometimes contentious conflicts to the specialist support and skills it can provide.

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Commonwealth soldiers in Palestine
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers in Palestine

Discover the diverse range of soldiers who contributed to the British First World War effort in Palestine.

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Commonwealth soldiers in East Africa
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers in East Africa

Discover the diverse range of soldiers who contributed to the British First World War effort in East Africa.

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Commonwealth soldiers on the Western Front
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers on the Western Front

Discover the diverse range of soldiers who contributed to the British First World War effort on the Western Front.

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Commonwealth soldiers at Gallipoli
Video

KS3 (Ages 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers at Gallipoli

Discover the diverse range of soldiers who contributed to the British First World War effort at Gallipoli.

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