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.

Read this story

Explore Empire stories

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.

explore this story
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.

explore this story
A Mahsud tribesmen, c1919

The 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.

explore this story
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.

explore this story
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.

explore this story
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.

explore this story
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. 

explore this story
Major-General Robert Sale, c1845

Robert Sale: Fighting Bob

Major-General Sir Robert Sale served in several important campaigns on the Indian subcontinent. He skillfully commanded the besieged garrison at Jalalabad during the First Afghan War, before being killed in action in the First Sikh War.

explore this story
Field Marshal Gerald Templer, 1958

Gerald Templer: The smiling tiger

Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer commanded infantry and armoured divisions during the Second World War. He later went on to lead a successful counter-insurgency operation in Malaya.

explore this story
General Jan Smuts, 1918

Jan Smuts: The warrior-statesman

Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts successfully led troops against Britain in the Boer War. He later commanded the South African Defence Force fighting alongside British soldiers in several First World War campaigns.

explore this story
British and Gurkha troops, 1917

Egypt and Palestine campaign

The struggle against the Turks in Egypt and Palestine began with a test of endurance and engineering in harsh desert terrain. It evolved into a fast-moving mobile campaign, which resulted in Allied victory and the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

explore this story
General Herbert Kitchener, 1899

Herbert Kitchener: The taskmaster

Field Marshal Herbert Kitchener was famous for colonial victories in the Sudan and South Africa. Later, he helped build Britain’s first mass army during the First World War.

explore this story

Explore Empire events

The Indian 'Mutiny'?
Secondary workshop

3 September 2018 - 30 July 2020

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

3 September 2018 - 30 July 2020

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

2 September 2019 - 30 July 2020

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

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.

find out more
Take a view on soldiers
Video

KS3 (Age 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.

find out more
Take a view on the army's role
Video

KS3 (Age 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.

find out more
Commonwealth soldiers in Palestine
Video

KS3 (Age 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers in Palestine

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

find out more
Commonwealth soldiers in East Africa
Video

KS3 (Age 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.

find out more
Commonwealth soldiers on the Western Front
Video

KS3 (Age 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.

find out more
Commonwealth soldiers at Gallipoli
Video

KS3 (Age 11 to 14)

Commonwealth soldiers at Gallipoli

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

find out more

Join the conversation

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