• 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

The Selection of the Unknown Warrior

The coffin of the ‘Unknown Warrior’ being carried on to the Royal Navy destroyer HMS ‘Verdun’, Boulogne, 10 November 1920

Curator Justin Saddington uncovers the remarkable events at the heart of our exhibition, ‘Buried Among Kings: The Story of the Unknown Warrior’.

Westminster Abbey holds the grave of an unidentified soldier who was interred in 1920 as a way of honouring the unknown fallen of the First World War.

The selection of this Unknown Warrior was a seminal event in the history of the commemoration of war. It saw the creation of a global figure of mythical status who would be at the heart of the process of mourning and remembrance that followed in the wake of the terrible losses of the recent conflict.

Yet this event took place under a shroud of secrecy. And, as a result, many of the details of the story are obscure and disputed.

Drawing upon new research, Justin Saddington explores this fascinating story and reveals that, while some questions can now be satisfactorily resolved, others have only become more deeply mired in mystery.

Justin is the curator of the National Army Museum’s latest exhibition, ‘Buried Among Kings: The Story of the Unknown Warrior’.

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