Mutinous sepoys, 1857

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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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Lieutenant Colonel Robert Clive at Plassey, 1757

Battle of Plassey

Robert Clive's victory at Plassey on 23 June 1757 led to the British becoming the greatest economic and military power in India.

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The storming of Magdala, 1868

Abyssinia Expedition

The 1868 expedition to Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) was one of the most ambitious and expensive military campaigns ever undertaken by the British Army.

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The landing at Quebec, 1759

Battle of Quebec

The Battle of Quebec in 1759 was one of Britain's greatest victories of the Seven Years War (1756-63). Major-General James Wolfe’s triumph ultimately led to the British conquest of Canada.

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On patrol during the Kenya Emergency, c1955

Kenya Emergency

The Kenya Emergency, or Mau Mau Revolt, was one of the British Army's bloodiest and most controversial post-war conflicts.

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Rebel sepoys, 1857

Why did the Indian Mutiny happen?

In 1857, Indian soldiers rose up against their British commanders. The reasons behind the rebellion stretch back to the origins of British involvement in Indian affairs.

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Hudson's Horse at Rhotuck, 1857

Decisive events of the Indian Mutiny

The 1857 rising was the biggest threat to Britain's colonial power during its rule of the Indian subcontinent.

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Storming of Amoy,1841

Opium War

In 1839, British forces fought a war on behalf of drug traffickers. The victory they secured opened up the lucrative China trade to British merchants.

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Armoured car in Cyprus, 1950s

Cyprus

In the early 1950s a revolt in favour of union with Greece began in British-controlled Cyprus. British troops remain on the island to this day as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force.

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The last British troops to leave India, 1948

Independence and Partition, 1947

The birth of India and Pakistan as independent states in 1947 was a key moment in the history of Britain’s Empire and its army.

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A bomb disposal officer and infantry officer patrol West Belfast, 1992

The Troubles

Troops were sent to Northern Ireland in 1969. They ended up staying there for nearly 40 years in what became the British Army's longest ever deployment.

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Lieutenants Melville and Coghill saving the Colours at Isandlwana, 1879

Zulu War

In 1879, the British fought a war against the Zulu kingdom. The Zulus resisted bravely and were only defeated after a series of particularly bloody battles that have gone down in the annals of colonial warfare.

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Patrolling the Malayan jungle, 1950s

Malayan Emergency

The Malayan Emergency (1948-60) was one of the few successful counter-insurgency operations undertaken by the Western powers during the Cold War.

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Explore Empire events

Trench medicine: Illnesses, injuries and their treatment
Secondary workshop

1 - 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.

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The Indian 'Mutiny'?
Secondary workshop

1 - 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.

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What is Total War?
Secondary workshop

1 - 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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