Home » Festivals and Events » Spring Talks and Events at the National Army Museum

Spring Talks and Events at the National Army Museum

On 30 March 2017 the new National Army Museum opens with an exciting new events programme. Over April and May visitors are able to enjoy free themed tours and talks and attend debates on Brexit and the army and art and the British Army. The Easter holiday and spring half term also provide opportunities for children to join in the fun from a robotics challenge to making their own comic. Whatever your interest or age there is something for you to enjoy this Spring at the new National Army Museum.


Women soldiers tour

1 April and 6 May, 2.30pm


The first Saturday of each month for a 30-minute guided tour of the galleries exploring 100 years of women in the army. 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.

Robotics Easter Challenge

1 – 17 April, sessions at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm


Can you master our robotic arms ? Discover how the army uses technology with our robotics challenge. Can you master the robotic arms to complete missions?

Mission 1: Collect easter eggs with your robotic arm. Master the controls and fill a basket without breaking your eggs.

Mission 2: Level up and try using a spoon with your robotic arm to fill the basket. It’s harder than it sounds!

Mission 3: Can you create an ‘eggcellent’ piece of art with your robotic arm? Manoeuvre your arm using pens and stamps. You might just end up on the wall of fame!

Book early to guarantee a space.

Too proud to fight

7 April, 11.30am


A century on from America’s entry into the First World War, Dr Graham Cross explores how we look back on that pivotal decision. The United States of America entered the First World War on 6 April 1917. While British narratives recognise the American contribution, they often also focus on the lateness of entry and the ‘Associate’ status of American belligerence. Graham will discuss the factors that drove the American intervention. He will also examine how British hopes and expectations, both at the time and since, colour our understanding of America’s involvement in the conflict.

Dr Graham Cross is a lecturer in American History at Manchester Metropolitan University.


The Gaza stalemate and Beersheba breakthrough

14 April, 11.30am


Robert Fleming explores the events and impact of the British Army’s campaigns in the Middle East during the First World War. The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 failed to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the First World War. The result for the British Army was a long and bloody struggle through Sinai, Palestine and Syria that would help determine the fate of the Middle East for years to come.

Robert Fleming is the Templer Study Centre Manager at the National Army Museum.


Love and attraction in propaganda

21 April, 11.30am


Professor Jo Fox explores how love and sexual attraction were used to mobilise the nation during the World Wars. Using examples from newspapers, postcards, posters, songs and films, Jo will demonstrate how the promise of love, sex and romance was used to encourage enlistment during the First and Second World Wars.

Jo Fox is a professor of Modern British and European History at the University of Durham.

War artists and the press

28 April, 11.30am


Emma Mawdsley looks at artists’ depiction of war in the press of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Art has always been a tool for reporting news. But in the age before photography, artists provided the only images of war zones. In the 19th century, as the thirst for authentic images of conflict grew, newspapers sent artists to accompany troops to war. The images didn’t merely complement the written words, they formed the substance of reporting.

Emma Mawdsley is a Senior Research Curator at the National Army Museum and curator of the War Paint exhibition.

African women in the First World War

5 May, 11.30am


Join Dr Anne Samson and discover the different roles African women have played during war. From camp followers and labourers to spies and snipers, African women of all ethnicities, ages and creeds have played a significant, albeit hidden, role in war. Using the First World War as a hook, Dr Anne Samson will explore the different roles women played in the conduct of war in Africa in the early 20th century. Dr Anne Samson is an author and historian specialising in Africa and the First World War.


A history of army nursing: 1854-1918

12 May, 11.30am


To mark International Nurses Day Professor Christine Hallett traces the history of army nursing from the Crimean War until the end of the First World War. Starting with Florence Nightingale’s initial efforts in the Crimean War, she will continue through to the creation of nursing services during the Boer War and the First World War. She will also draw comparisons with similar nursing services in the US military and the Commonwealth, as well as the emergence of the largely voluntary Red Cross.

Christine Hallett is Professor of Nursing History at The University of Manchester.

Exploring the Women’s Royal Army Corps collection

19 May, 11.30am


Dr Alastair Massie shares fascinating stories from the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) collection. On 1 February 1949 the WRAC was founded, allowing women to serve in a wide range of army roles. After the WRAC disbanded in 1992, the National Army Museum took over its collection. Join Alastair as he draws on official documentation, photographs and other personal items to share fascinating stories from the archive.

Dr Alastair Massie is the Head of Academic Access at the National Army Museum.

Make your own comic

27 May – 4 June, sessions at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm


Discover the Ministry of Women graphic novel and have a go at making your own comic. To mark 100 years since the formation of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, the National Army Museum has created a graphic novel, Ministry of Women, featuring the stories of women who have served in the army. Join our hands-on workshop where you can learn how to draw one of the graphic novel’s characters – army code breaker Betty – explore the objects used to inspire the novel, and make your own code! There will be  five 45-minute sessions every day during the May half-term. Book early to guarantee a space.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the National Army Museum website here

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