Home » Entertainment » Royal Armouries commemorates World War One centenary

Royal Armouries commemorates World War One centenary

Royal Armouries is set to join the nation in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War by showcasing the weapons and armour used in battle and telling the stories of those who fought for King and Country on the Western Front.
As one of Britain’s oldest public museums and home to the national collection of arms and armour, Royal Armouries will make a unique contribution to the centenary, physically and digitally, in a series of exhibitions and events.
Curator Jonathan Ferguson said, “We aim to demonstrate how developments in technology and tactics changed both the experience of the men fighting the war, and the face of warfare itself. From cavalry and bayonet charges in 1914, to the elite machine gunners of 1918, we will explore how various weapons and pieces of armour were conceived, how they were used, and how effective they really were.
“I think people will be surprised at how advanced some of the thinking was, and that, both before and during the war, there were constant attempts to innovate and to put the right equipment in the soldiers’ hands. However, no amount of ingenuity could prevent a horrific human cost and a legacy that still echoes today.”
The Royal Armouries’ programme will be rolled out across the period 2014-18, culminating in commemoration of the Armistice.

Key projects for 2014-15 include the following.

Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
September 2014
New exhibition:  Bullets, Blades and Battle Bowlers – the personal arms and armour of the First World War, sharing the stories of inventors, tacticians and soldiers of different nationalities.
23rd-25th August
The Final Charge by Atkinson Action Horses
An exciting, high-energy stunt horse show.
Tickets available online.

Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson
Fort Nelson played its own role during the war effort, and thousands of men were billeted at the Portsdown Hill fort in Hampshire, awaiting transit to the Western Front. Today, it hosts a display of artillery of the First World War, in the Artillery Hall which tells the story of the development of the howitzer.

Royal Armouries at the Tower Of London
4th August-1st April 2015
The Tower at War 1914-18: Foreman Buckingham goes to War: A showcase in the White Tower will be dedicated to telling the story of the Tower and its people during the First World War, with content updated annually and including extracts from the contemporary Tower Minute book detailing the daily activities on site.  This year (2014) will focus on the tragic story of William Buckingham, Armouries’ foreman and keen volunteer artilleryman, who on the outbreak of the war, enlisted with the rank of Battery Sergeant Major in the Royal Field Artillery and journeyed north to Peterborough to train new recruits.

Royal Armouries Online
Explore the weapons of the First World War Online. The launch will coincide with the centenary commemorations, with extra content added regularly. The first instalment will focus on the Personal Arms of the First World War.
Launch of Royal Armouries’ Collections Online: This autumn will also see the start of a new users’ digital interface to the Royal Armouries’ collections, which will allow users access to images, videos and information not previously available online. This is only the start of the project and it will continue to develop and grow, with exciting new content added over the coming years.
First World War Archives Project: Royal Armouries is working with a number of local museums, archives and other heritage organisations to stage an exciting project, exploring various aspects of the Great War. The project runs until 31st March 2016 and is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

For more information about Royal Armouries and the national collection, visit www.royalarmouries.org
For information specific to the First World War, visit www.royalarmouries.org/events/first-world-war-centenary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *