In a chronological series of four major galleries the National Army Museum traces the history of the British Army and its role in the making of Britain from the middle ages to the present day. Its collection is a treasure trove of artefacts and archives that touch on events ranging from those of national and international importance, such as the American War of Independence or the end of British rule in India, to the conditions of life as a National Serviceman or an archer at Agincourt. Home to one of the largest collections of military costume in the world, the development of the British Army is well illustrated by mannequins in contemporary uniforms and equipment. The difficult and dangerous life of the British soldier and the changing world in which he has lived throughout the centuries is brought to life by interactive sound and visual displays. The collection also addresses wider themes such as the control and organization of the Army, the daily life of the soldier and civilian perceptions of the Army. The Museum’s message, delivered through its displays and activities, is presented for a family audience.
The Templer Study Centre (open 10am-5pm Thurs-Fri and 1st and 3rd Sat of each month) provides access to 80,000 books, a major collection (5 million items) of archives and prints and some 740,000 photographs. The Museum presents regular special exhibitions, events and lecture programmes; full details of which may be found on the website.
The Museum’s Children’s Gallery – The Kids’ Zone – provides learning and play opportunities that are suitable for ages 0-10. Encompassing Militia, Yeomanry, Volunteers and the Territorial Army as well as the regular forces, the museum also looks at the armies of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the two World Wars and tells the history of the Indian Army up to 1947. The collections of the pre-1922 Irish regiments of the British Army are dispersed amongst the collection as a whole.
In addition the museum is home to the regimental collections of:
The Buffs, 3rd Regiment of Foot, Royal East Kent Regiment, The Middlesex Regiment, 57th (or the West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot, 77th (The East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot (Duke of Cambridge’s Own), 77th Regiment of Foot, Women’s Royal Army Corps, Auxiliary Territorial Service, Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.