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What’s on at the NAM in April


Want to know what events, exhibitions, displays, talks and meetings are planned at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London are coming up? Read on to find out.

Get hands on: The forgotten fronts of the First World War – Object Handling

3 April, 11.00am and 2.30pm

Free, drop-in

Get hands on with NAM collections. In this 20 minute object-handling session, meet one of the Museum’s expert curators and learn about the forgotten fronts of World War I through historical artefacts from the Museum collection. Sessions in the Insight gallery at 11am and 2.30pm. Suitable for all ages.


Curator tour: Special Forces: In the Shadows

4 April, 6.00pm

25 April, 11.00am

£12.50, Concession 25% off

An hour-long curator-led tour of the major exhibition ‘Special Forces: In the Shadows’. This presents ideas of security and secrecy through the lens of British Special Forces. Discover who these elite soldiers are, the skills they need, and the operations they’ve undertaken. Curator tour tickets include entry to the exhibition. Please meet at the exhibition entrance five minutes before the tour is due to begin.

Zoolab jungle animal encounters – Workshop

4 April, 10.30am-4.30pm

£5 per child, booking required

Meet some jungle critters at the workshops with Zoolab. The NAM has teamed up with Zoolab to bring you a hands-on experience with jungle critters including cockroaches, spiders and snakes. Discover how they have adapted to live in a jungle environment and get a certificate for taking part.


Security and the army tour

7 April, 2.00pm

Free, booking recommended

Take a free guided tour around the galleries exploring the topic of security and the army. In 2018 NAM is looking at the army’s role in UK and world security throughout history. This monthly tour will highlight some of the objects and stories related to key moments and the people involved.


The Artists of the Artists Rifles – Talk 

13 April, 11.30am

Free, booking recommended

Patrick Baty explores the lives of the artists, writers and playwrights who volunteered to serve in the Artists Rifles regiment, including William Morris, Frederick Leighton and Noël Coward. The Artists Rifles was perhaps the most curious regiment in the British Army. It was formed in 1860 by a group of painters, architects, poets, sculptors, musicians and actors concerned about a possible French invasion. The Pre-Raphaelites were early members as were William Morris, Frederic Leighton and even the poet Algernon Swinburne.

The regiment was the natural choice for young men of an artistic persuasion in 1914 and artists like John and Paul Nash, the poets Edward Thomas and Wilfred Owen and the playwright Noël Coward wore the uniform of the Artists Rifles. In view of the calibre of men serving in its ranks it became an officer-producing unit in 1915 and turned out over 10,000 officers for service in other regiments during WWI.


War on the Western Front in 1918 – Talk 

20 April, 11.30am

Free, booking recommended

Dr Jonathan Boff discusses the key battles of spring 1918. 1918 witnessed the greatest battles fought on the Western Front which decided World War I. Yet they remain poorly understood. This talk will re-examine some widely-held myths about these battles, suggesting new interpretations which challenge our understanding of both the course of the war and the development of modern warfare. 


Tank Keepers: Meet the Royal Armoured Corps – Workshop 

21 April, 11.00am-4.00pm

Free, drop-in

Meet serving members of the Royal Armoured Corps and find out what it’s like to work with tanks today. As the centenary of the world’s first tank battle at Villers-Bretonneux approaches, learn about the equipment and experiences of serving members of the Royal Armoured Corps today. Handle some objects and find out what driving a tank is really like.


The machines, tactics and significance of the tank clash at Villers-Brettoneux – Talk

21 April, 2.00pm

Free, booking recommended

Professor Alaric Searle discusses the tank battle at Villers-Brettoneux, 100 years on. During the course of the German Spring Offensive on the Western Front in 1918, a small but very notable engagement took place – the first tank-versus-tank battle in history. The event seemed to confirm earlier warnings from the staff at British Tank Corps HQ of the dangers posed by a German tank development programme; yet before the end of the war no large-scale German employment of tanks took place. How can this clash during the Second Battle of Villers-Brettoneux be interpreted? The first difficulty for the historian is the differences between the British and German accounts. The second is whether the outcome of the mechanised skirmish on 24 April 1918 exerted any impact on German planning – did it convince them that their tank units could not stand up to British machines and tactics? Using both British and German sources, this lecture will attempt to go beyond the myths surrounding Villers-Bretonneux by explaining its outcome and assessing its true historical significance.


Tank Wars Family Workshop

22 April, 11.00am-11.45am and 12.15pm-1.00pm

£3, booking recommended

Test your mettle on a series of tank challenges. Register to command one of the museum’s remote controlled tanks to test your mettle on a series of tank challenges. Navigate an obstacle course, race, and see how many rounds your tank will last against other tank commanders! 


The Anglo-Abyssinian War, 1867-68: Campaigning in ‘a country of which we know so little’ – Talk

27 April, 11.30am

Free, booking recommended

Professor Edward Spiers discusses the Anglo-Abyssinian War of 1867-68. In 1867, Emperor Theodore II of Ethiopia, in a breach of diplomatic immunity, imprisoned several European prisoners. Hear how Britain launched a punitive expedition under Sir Robert Napier, accompanied by a substantial press corps. The 640km trek across the demanding terrain of Abyssinia was a huge logistical operation involving tens of thousands of soldiers and animals. It culminated with the storming and looting of Theodore’s fortress at Magdala. Although the expedition lost only a few men, it proved highly controversial on account of its cost of nearly £9 million, and due to the items looted.


‘Writing Armistice’ prize giving ceremony – Talk 

28 April, 2.00pm


Winners of the British Army’s poetry writing competition will receive prizes and recite their poetry. Sponsored by the Museum of Military Medicine, the British Army’s 2018 poetry writing competition focuses on ‘Writing Armistice’. In the year of the national commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice, the Army invited poets to respond to these events, or any subject matter inspired by the Armistice, encouraging them to visit museums nationwide for inspiration. The prize giving ceremony is open to the public with seats on a first come first served basis. Doors will open at 1.45pm for a 2pm start.  


Behind the scenes: ANZAC collections – Workshop

28 April, 2.00pm

Free, booking recommended

Explore our collections reflecting the experiences of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. As we mark ANZAC Day, our Templer Study Centre Manager, Robert Fleming, will guide you through some highlights of the Museum’s collections exploring Australian and New Zealand soldiers’ experiences. Learn how to carry out research on the collections and get tips on how to discover your own family history.

More details on all these events and tours at www.nam.ac.uk 


Don't forget, 100 Years of the RAF, a commemorative bookazine celebrating 100 years since the formation of the RAF, is now on sale. Order your copy by clicking on 100 RAF.

Catch up on militaria news, order a back issue of The Armourer, or pick up the latest issue, in either print or digital format. Like what you see? Why not take out a subscription, save money and have it delivered to your door.


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16/02/2018 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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