• CLOSED
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  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Women

ATS recruiting posters, 1941

ATS recruiting posters, 1941
Featured

Women's work?

Watch a video focusing on the changing role of women in the British Army.

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Explore Women stories

Lapel badge, War Widows Association of Great Britain, 2018

War Widows Association: Supporting the families of the fallen

Today, the UK government makes financial provision for the spouses and partners of soldiers who have died in the line of duty. But this has not always been the case, and there have been a number of changes along the way.

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Cap badge, other ranks, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, c1950

Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps

This medical unit provides nursing services to British Army soldiers. Although formed in 1902, it traces its origins back to Florence Nightingale's pioneering nursing work during the Crimean War.

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Women's Royal Army Corps

Women's Royal Army Corps

Formed in 1949, this corps was the women’s branch of the British Army. Its members undertook a variety of important roles until 1992, when its remaining personnel were integrated into the Adjutant General's Corps.

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Auxiliary Territorial Service

Auxiliary Territorial Service

Formed in 1938, the Auxiliary Territorial Service tasked women with a range of vital roles during the Second World War. It was disbanded in 1949, when the remainder of its troops transferred to the newly formed Women’s Royal Army Corps.

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Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

This unit was formed as the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1917 to free up more men to fight in the First World War. It was the first time women had served in the British Army other than as nurses.

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The war on glamour

The war on glamour

During the Second World War, the Army relied on women to perform essential military roles. But some of the tactics used to recruit new members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) proved highly controversial.

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Women's work?

Women's work?

Discover how women’s contributions to the British Army have helped bring about change over the past 100 years. And see how Army recruiters have adapted their messaging accordingly.

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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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Gun disguised as a pen for use by SOE agents, 1945

Special Operations Executive

Formed in 1940, SOE was an underground army that waged a secret war in enemy-occupied Europe and Asia. Its agents demonstrated incredible courage and resourcefulness in their guerrilla war.

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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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Entry of the 5th Lancers into Mons, 1918

Soldiers in love: Courtship, engagement and marriage

Despite the difficulties, soldiers' affairs of the heart have flourished; some casual, others ultimately leading to engagement, marriage and a life together.

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Soldiers and women on a march, 1811

Soldiering wives

During the 19th century, soldiers' wives played a significant role in supporting troops on campaign. Here we take a look at some of these women, a few of whom became minor celebrities.

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Explore Women events

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

7 September 2020 - 23 July 2021

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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Florence Nightingale tending to wounded soldiers at Scutari Hospital
Primary (virtual)

7 September 2020 - 23 July 2021

FREE

Florence and Mary (virtual)

Discover the historic contributions of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole and why they have been remembered (or not) over time.

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

7 September 2020 - 23 July 2021

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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'Veiled Warriors' book cover
Talk

30 April 2021, 12.00pm

FREE

Veiled Warriors

Christine Hallett challenges some of the popular myths surrounding the allied nurses of the First World War.

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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
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

Explore Women learning resources

Marvellous Mary Seacole
Home Activity

KS1-KS2 (Ages 5 to 11)

Marvellous Mary Seacole

Discover more about Mary Seacole and her work at the British Hotel during the Crimean War.

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Florence and Mary: Scavenger hunt
Home Activity

KS1-KS2 (Ages 5 to 11)

Florence and Mary: Scavenger hunt

Try our at-home scavenger hunt to help Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole on their journey to the Crimea.

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