October at the National Army Museum


13 September 2023
Art of Crimean War Art of Crimean War
Here’s what’s coming up at the museum in Chelsea, London, during October, in addition to the long-running exhibitions.

Art of the Crimean War

Join Professor Meaghan Clarke as she examines some of the art inspired by the Crimean War, 170 years after the outbreak of the conflict. On 16 October 1853, the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia, setting in motion the Crimean War. The following year, Britain and France entered the war on the Ottoman side.

The events of the Crimean War inspired a range of artists to capture and reimagine the conflict in different ways and for different reasons. Iconic artworks like The Relief of the Light Brigade and The Thin Red Line not only offer insights into how the war was fought, but also serve as windows into the artists’ minds.


  • Date: 6 October
  • Cost: Free, but requires booking


Uniforms of the Crimean War

On this special guided tour, uniform curator Mel Price will reveal some of the stories and uniforms of soldiers who served in the Crimean War (1854-56).

Highlights include the iconic redcoat of an infantry officer, a jacket worn during the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, and the intricate helmet of one of the dragoon guards who served in the Heavy Brigade. The tour will last approximately one hour.


  • Date: 6 October, 2pm
  • Cost: £5


Legacy of Field Marshal Lord Alanbroke

Julian Horrocks delivers a fascinating portrait of one of Britain’s most influential 20th-century commanders. Alan Francis Brooke (later 1st Viscount Alanbrooke) had a long and prestigious military career. Beginning his service in the Royal Artillery during the Great War (1914-18), he is best known for his crucial role in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1940.

By the end of the World War II he had been appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff and promoted to the rank of Field Marshal. Yet, despite his wartime achievements, he remains a relatively unsung hero, especially when compared to contemporary figures like Churchill and Montgomery.


  • Date: 13 October, 2pm
  • Cost: Free, but requires booking


Shakespeare at War

Head to the NAM for the opening of the Museum’s new exhibition and the launch of an accompanying book, Shakespeare at War: A Material History.

War is a frequent theme of Shakespeare’s writing: from dramatic depictions of campaigns and battles, to the soldiers who serve as major and minor characters in many of his plays.

Join Amy Lidster and Sonia Massai, the curators of the National Army Museum’s new Shakespeare and War exhibition, for a special panel discussion. Alongside other guest speakers, they will explore the diverse ways in which Shakespeare has been deployed during major conflicts with British involvement from the 18th century to the modern day.

The roundtable conversation will consider how Shakespeare has been used to bolster or to critique the reasons for going to war, to motivate troops on the battlefield, and to help soldiers and civilians alike to process the experience of being at war. The Shakespeare and War exhibition will run until 31 March 2024.


  • Date: 18 October, 6.30pm
  • Cost: £5


Women War Artists

Dr Nicole Hartwell explores the fascinating lives and artworks of women war artists in the 19th and 20th centuries. Women artists have contributed to the history of wartime art in challenging and compelling ways. Depicting a range of scenes, from 19th-century battles to the home front, these women used their artwork to portray the demands of war.

Charting a period from the mid-19th century to the end of World War II, Dr Nicole Hartwell will examine a selection of paintings from the collections of the National Army Museum and other art galleries.

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  • Date: 20 October, 12noon
  • Cost: Free, but requires booking


SAS – Forged in Hell

Bestselling author Damien Lewis revisits the daring SAS mission to break through enemy coastal defences and liberate Europe. In the summer of 1943, the largest invasion fleet ever assembled sailed for Nazi-occupied Europe. Against all odds, their task was to break through the heavily defended enemy shoreline, enabling the ensuing forces to follow in their wake.

Led by renowned SAS commander Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne, these intrepid raiders set sail on a Royal Navy warship bearing the iconic winged dagger emblem and the motto ‘Who Dares Wins’.

Drawing on Mayne’s personal wartime recollections, and oral testimonies from other soldiers involved, bestselling author Damien Lewis will reveal the audacious true story behind this critical moment in WWII.


  • Date: 25 October, 6.30pm
  • Cost: £5



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