A soldier of 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, patrols with a police officer during Operation Temperer, 28 May 2017
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In case of emergency? The army and civil enforcement

Today we welcome the assistance that the British Army provides to the civil authority, but for a long time the army’s involvement in maintaining order was hugely unpopular.

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Celtic plaid brooch taken from the body of a Sinn Féin rebel, 1916

Easter Rising

On Easter Monday 1916, Irish nationalists launched an armed revolt against British rule in Ireland. Although quickly suppressed by the British Army, the rising was a seminal moment in modern Irish history.

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Oliver Cromwell, c1653

Oliver Cromwell: Lord Protector

Lieutenant-General Oliver Cromwell was a natural cavalry leader. He played a vital role in Parliament’s victories at the Battles of Marston Moor and Naseby, before leading successful campaigns in Ireland and Scotland.

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The Duke of Marlborough, 1702

The Duke of Marlborough: Corporal John

Marlborough’s long career as a soldier and statesmen spanned the reigns of five monarchs. His triumphs were not only due to his amazing military talents; they were also a result of politics and patronage.

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Private Laura Docherty, Royal Army Medical Corps, on patrol with the Royal Irish Regiment in Helmand, 2010

Fit to fight: Women in the army today

Women were finally allowed to undertake combat roles in 2016. But even before that, many female soldiers had been serving in war zones around the world.

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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.

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The Norfolk Volunteers at Gunton Park, 1864

Civilian soldiers

Throughout its long history the British Army has relied on part-time soldiers to support its operations, guard British shores and maintain law and order.

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A Jewish refugee ship in Palestine, 1947

The British Army in Palestine

In the 1940s the British Army found itself stuck in the middle of a growing conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. The momentous events that followed led to the creation of the State of Israel.

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1st Battalion The Cheshire Regiment, Iraq, 2004

Equality and the army

The modern British Army declares itself an equal opportunities employer. But becoming so has presented challenges for an institution deeply rooted in hierarchy, routine, regiment and tradition.

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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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ATS women at a train station, 1944

Breaking boundaries

During the Second World War women took on increasingly diverse roles. But, like their First World War predecessors, they were still prevented from fighting.

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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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Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers, Helmand, 2011

A timeline of women in the army

Since 2016 women have been able to serve in combat roles. However, the history of women's service in the army stretches much further back in time.

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Soldiers out: LGBTQ tour
Tour

20 July 2018, 2.00pm

FREE

Soldiers out: LGBTQ tour

Kelsey Loveless, from the National Army Museum, explores LGBTQ narratives within the British Army in a tour of the museum’s galleries.

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Explore Politics learning resources

Take a view on society's relationship with the army
Video

KS3 (Age 11 to 14)

Take a view on society's relationship with the army

Explore society's opinions of the army, its operations and the soldiers who serve in it, and how and why society's attitudes fluctuate.

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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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The story of conscription
Video

KS3 (Age 11 to 14)

The story of conscription

Explore the story of conscription from its origins before the First World War, through National Service and beyond.

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Easter Rising 1916
Video

KS3 (Age 11 to 14)

Easter Rising 1916

Watch experts from museums in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland sharing their thoughts on objects from our Easter Rising collection.

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