What’s on in July at the National Army Museum
This July the NAM looks at how soldiers used song, slapstick, and satire to entertain themselves during the First World War and marks the anniversary of Passchendaele with a talk by Dr Nick Lloyd.
Women soldiers tour
1 July, 2.30pm
Explore 100 years of women in the army. Join us for a free 30-minute tour on the first Saturday of the month at 2.30pm. In 1917 the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was founded. This was the first time women could join the army outside of nursing roles. Since then there have been a number of developments for women in the army, culminating in last year's lifting of the ban on women in combat roles. Join us for a 30-minute guided tour of the galleries exploring the theme of women in the army. www.nam.ac.uk
War Paint exhibition tour
2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 July, 2.30pm
Join us for a free 30-minute tour of our temporary exhibition War Paint. Artists paint places of conflict for many reasons - recording locations, reporting news and commemorating events. But these images also offer personal perspectives on war and its impact on land and people. During this tour, we'll discuss the purposes behind painting war and highlight some of the techniques used to paint during conflict.
Walking Tour: Beyond the battlefield
8 July, 10.15am
£10.00, concessions £7.50
Walking from Brompton Cemetary to the National Army Museum, discover stories of the soldiers linking our two organisations. Led by guides from Brompton Cemetary and the National Army Museum, this unique walking tour will uncover the personal stories behind cemetery monuments, linking them with the National Army Museum’s unique collections, and highlighting the historic relationship between Chelsea and the military.
Diversity and the army
12 July, 7.00pm
£7.50, concessions £5.00
How diverse is the army? Join us for an interactive evening where you can put your own questions to the panel. Over the past 20 years the army has made diversity a central part of its recruitment policies. In 2016 it secured a top-50 spot in Stonewall’s equality index for the third consecutive year. Join us for an interactive Q&A session with Ruth Hunt (Chief Executive of Stonewall), Major General Rob Nitsch (Director Personnel of the British Army), and chaired by Rebecca Newell (Curator at the National Army Museum). Together, we’ll be exploring how the challenges, criticisms and opportunities of diversity impact the army.
Cross-dressing, sexuality and satire
14 July, 11.30am
Rebecca D’Monté reveals how soldiers used song, slapstick, and satire to entertain themselves during the First World War. Both at home and abroad, First World War soldiers provided their own entertainment by putting on theatrical performances, either rehearsed or impromptu. Rebecca will explain how their use of song, slapstick, and satire all spoke of normal life, helping them to cope with the pressures of war. Using first-hand accounts, Rebecca will also explore notions of masculinity and femininity, even addressing the lustful fancies provoked when men ‘passed’ as women. Rebecca D’Monté is Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of the West of England. She is currently writing a book on British theatre during the Second World War.
War Paint guest tour: Douglas Farthing
19 July, 6.30pm
£12.00, concessions £9.00
War artist Douglas Farthing will give a guided tour of our War Paint exhibition, in which his work is featured. During this special one-hour tour, Douglas will take you around the exhibition and discuss what it’s like to be a war artist. Douglas is a former sergeant major in The Parachute Regiment, serving in Afghanistan as part of Operation Veritas (2001-14). Join Douglas and explore the exhibition through the eyes of someone who has served in the army and created art inspired by his own experiences.
Sir Edward Walker and the Battle of Lostwithiel
21 July, 11.30am
Justin Saddington explores the stories of Sir Edward Walker, Secretary at War to King Charles I during the British Civil Wars. Unlocking the secrets of a little-known collection of British Civil War papers by Sir Edward Walker, Justin will discuss the precious insights they provide into the workings of the Royalist high command. He will also reveal their account of the Battle of Lostwithiel in 1644, the greatest Royalist victory of the war. Justin Saddington is a research curator at the National Army Museum.
22 July – 3 September
This summer, discover engineering techniques and have a go at our construction challenge. This is a construction challenge with a difference. We’ll be transforming our spaces into different environments to explore how the army adapts to its surroundings. From the jungle to the North Pole, use our stack of wooden construction planks to create a structure that won’t topple over. Drop in anytime between 10:15am–4pm to take part in a free session, no booking is required.
Hands-on War Paint: Drawing with wire
26 July, 7.00pm
Be inspired by our War Paint exhibition by getting creative in this hands-on workshop exploring the use of wire as a drawing medium. During this workshop, we’ll be examining ‘FV432 with Cymbeline radar, AE Bty, Sanski Most’ (1996) by J Hugh L Beattie, one of the paintings featured in our War Paint exhibition. We’ll begin with a discussion about the painting, exploring the presentation of the artwork, its historical and political context, the use of wire within warfare and an introduction into drawing with wire. We’ll then use wire as a drawing medium to create a continuous line drawing inspired by the wire seen in Beattie’s painting. All levels are welcome. Materials will be provided. The workshop runs from 7pm to 8.30pm.
Passchendaele: 100 years on
28 July, 11.30am
Dr Nick Lloyd explores the little-known middle phase of the Battle of Passchendaele, which brought the German Army to the brink of defeat. For 100 years, the Third Battle of Ypres - more commonly known as Passchendaele - has epitomised for many the horror and futility of the First World War. The popular perception is of a battle fought knee-deep in mud and water, with British and Commonwealth troops sacrificed by stubborn commanders for useless gains. Dr Lloyd will discuss another side to the campaign, the little-known middle phase of the fighting between 20 September and 4 October 1917, when a series of major offensives brought the German Army to the brink of defeat. Dr Nick Lloyd is a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King's College London.