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

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
Carved figure of a sergeant of the King's African Rifles, 1917

East Africa campaign

Throughout the First World War, British Empire soldiers fought a guerrilla campaign against a small German force in East Africa. Led by Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, the Germans inflicted many casualties and avoided defeat in the field.

explore this story
Turkish prisoners after General Brooking's victory at Ramadi, September 1917

Mesopotamia campaign

During 1914-18, British troops fought the Turks in Mesopotamia. After many setbacks, they finally took Baghdad in March 1917. This marked the high point of a long and tragic campaign fought in a harsh climate.

explore this story
The Nigerian Regiment Artillery with a field gun,

West Africa campaign

In February 1916, the Allies finally completed the conquest of Germany’s West African colonies. One of the First World War’s forgotten sideshows, this campaign was fought in hostile terrain and disease-ridden jungles.

explore this story
Indian troops passing through a communication trench on the Mesopotamian Front, 1917.

The Commonwealth and the First World War

Over 3 million soldiers and labourers from across the Empire and Commonwealth served alongside the British Army in the First World War.

explore this story
The South African Engineer Corps bury a comrade, 1915

South-West African campaign

On 9 July 1915, enemy forces in German South-West Africa (now Namibia) surrendered to the Allies. This marked the final stage of a short but successful campaign of manoeuvre fought in extremely harsh conditions.

explore this story
Field Marshal Viscount Garnet Wolseley, 1910

Garnet Wolseley: The modern major-general

Field Marshal Garnet Wolseley won important victories in several colonial campaigns. Because of his reforming zeal and attention to detail the phrase ‘All Sir Garnet’ came to mean everything’s in order.

explore this story
'An East View of the Great Cataract of Niagara', 1762

The earliest European view of Niagara

Thomas Davies' watercolour, ‘An East View of the Great Cataract of Niagara’ (1762), documents the struggle for control of North America and illuminates the history of British exploration and science.

explore this story
Major-General Robert Clive, c1764

Robert Clive: The heaven-born general

A courageous and resourceful military commander, Major-General Robert Clive helped secure India for Britain. But he was also seen as a greedy speculator who used his political and military influence to amass a fortune.

explore this story
3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment searching for snipers in Gaynaeim village, 1951

Suez Canal Zone

Between 1945 and 1956, British soldiers garrisoned bases on the Suez Canal in Egypt. A harsh climate, disease and attacks by local nationalists made Suez one of the most unpopular Army postings.

explore this story
On patrol in the jungles of North Borneo, c1964

Indonesian Confrontation

Between 1963 and 1966, British Commonwealth forces fought against Indonesia in a conflict that focused on the future of Brunei and North Borneo.

explore this story
Aden Emergency

Aden Emergency

The insurgency against British rule in the south of the Arabian Peninsula marked the end of a 20-year retreat from Empire.

explore this story

Explore Empire events

The Indian 'Mutiny'?
Secondary workshop

6 January - 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

6 January - 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

6 January - 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..."