Events

Chinese Gordon Family Activities

17th - 20st February

Throughout this half term holiday join us as we run a host of FREE* family-friendly creative events, celebrating Chinese New Year the year of sheep and Charles Gordon RE’s close connection with China.


Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm


Tuesday 17th  February   Chinese patterns and prints
On display in the Museum are a collection of beautiful Chinese silks. Using inspiration from the patterns and prints on the silks turn a fabric pencil cases into a Chinese inspired work of art.


Wednesday 18th February    Dragons at the ready
Chinese dragons traditionally symbolise power, strength, and good luck. Gordon was presented with a beautiful blue silk jacket with a gold dragon embodied on it, by the Emperor of China. Paint a ceramic dragon to decorate your house this Chinese New Year.


Thursday 19th February    Chinese "Good Wishes"
Chinese characters usually have more than one meaning and some of them are particularly loved by Chinese people. Create a beautiful red and gold wall hanging using Chinese characters, which are thought to bring happiness and prosperity.


Friday 20th February     Chinese Chao Guan hat
Gordon was awarded beautiful gifts of clothes and hats which represent his status in China as a high ranking official. Create your own Chinese officials formal winter Chao Guan hat just like Gordon’s covered with red tassels, feathers and topped with gem stones.

*Normal Admission prices apply (FREE to serving personnel and their family). Ticket Valid for 12 months on gift aided entrance.

For more information go to http://www.re-museum.co.uk or call 01634 822839.

Indian Army in First World War Family Activities

14th - 17th April

Discover the crucial role the Indian Army playing during the First World War

Animals In War Family Activities

7th - 10th April

Learn about the vital role animals have played since the First World War.

Indian Army in the First World War Open Day

18th April

Learn about the role of the Indian Army in the First World War and meet the 1914 Sikh Platoon in a day of talks and activities.

Swing Back In Time- Museums at Night festival

16th May

Dust off your dancing shoes for an evening full of energetic swing dancing.

Napoleonic Family Activities

26th-29th May

Unearth the hidden stories of Napoleonic soldiers.

Battle of Waterloo

20th – 21st June

View living history displays which bring to life Napoleons last battle.

Modern Army Family Activities (Excluding Mondays and weekends)

28th July -28th August

Find out about life as a Royal Engineer in the modern British Army.

Make Do And Mend

12th - 13th December

Christmas On The Home Front
Find out how Christmas time was celebrated during the Second World War.

Why Do We Remember Family Activities

27th-30st October

Get creative and contribute to our poppy wall of remembrance as part of the Big Draw.

Lecture     John Short WW1 Tommy and his equipment

January 29th 19.00

WW1 Tommy and his equipment

 

Join us this month to listen to military enthusiast John Short as he gives an insight into British, French and German soldier’s lives during the First World War. John's interest in the First World War stems from listening to stories from this Grandfather, who served and was injured during the First World War. The talk contains extracts of War poems and songs whist also providing the opportunity to hold John's personal collection of items used by soldiers such as helmets, bayonets; grenades and medals.

£5.00 per entry includes refreshments

Call 01634 822312 to book

Lecture     Ian Porter Women and the home front in the First World War

February 26th 19.00

Women and the home front in the First World War

 

Join us this month to listen to historian Ian Porter speak about Women and the home front in the First World War. The talk will start with an overview of womens' work in the war before going on to specifically mention munitions. You’ll hear of the inequalities from which women suffered whilst doing jobs men had done in the past – from munitions workers to footballers! Other subjects covered will include shortages and the campaigns to combat them, sport & leisure, women's suffrage, health, the Spanish Flu and how the war ended.

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshements

Call 01634 822312 to book

Lecture Prof Emma Hanna ‘It’s not all work in the Army: Recreation in the Royal Engineers, 1914-191

April 30th 19.00

'It's not all work in the Army: Recreation in the Royal Engineers, 1914-1918

 

Join us this month to listen to Professor Emma Hanna (Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich) speaking on 'It's not all work in the Army: Recreation in the Royal Engineers, 1914-1918' .

This talk will discuss the importance of keeping up soldiers' morale in wartime. It will place particular focus on how British servicemen found respite from their combat duties through organised activities such as sport, music and the cinema.  The role of organisations which facilitated these recreational activities, such as the YMCA and several British newspapers, will also be featured.

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshements.

Call 01634 822312 to book.

Lecture   Prof Michael Clarke Waterloo: The People Who Made the Strategy Work

June 25th 19.00

Waterloo: The People Who Made the Strategy Work

 

Join us this month to listen to Michael Clarke (Director General of Royal United Services Institute) who will be speaking on Waterloo: The People Who Made the Strategy Work.

The human experience of historic battles is easily overlooked and is difficult to imagine for those of later generations who live in a different time and culture. Literature is as important a source of understanding as formal histories when it comes to understanding the human experience of a battle 200 years ago. This lecture discusses the main phases of the Battle of Waterloo through the human endeavours that each phase demanded. As in sport, battles frequently turn on the tiny margins of performance between one group and another that determine the difference between victory and defeat.

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshements

Call 01634 822312 to book

Lecture Zeppelin’s and German Strategic Bombing

May 28th 19.00

Robert Fleming Zeppelin's and German Strategic Bombing

 

Join us this month to listen to National Army Museum Curator Robert Fleming who will be speaking on Zeppelins and German Strategic Bombing. 

Robert’s illustrated talk will explore the nature, impact and legacy of the German strategic bombing campaign of English targets during the Great War.The talk will cover the vehicles and weapons used to deliver the campaign, the impact on targets, the counter-measures employed, popular representation and the use of raids in recruiting and propaganda, and ultimately the legacy which stretched to the much more famous and well-remembered strategic bombing campaigns of the Second World War.

 

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshments

 

Call 01634 822312 to book

Lecture       Geoff Spring The BEF’s use of Gas on the Western Front

July 30th 19.00

The BEF’s use of Gas on the Western Front

 

Join us this month to listen to historian Geoff Spring speaking on The BEF’s use of Gas on the Western Front.

This lecture demonstrates how the British Army improved its way of fighting war in 1917 by developing gas as an artillery weapon. It focuses on: the types of gas used; protection against gas (gas masks); how gases were delivered - by cylinder, grenade, mortar, projector and shell - and is illustrated by short descriptions of how each weapon type was used.

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshments

Call 01634 822312

Lecture       Steve Hookins Woolwich Women at War

August 27th 19.00

Woolwich Women at War

 

Join us this month to listen to historian Steve Hookins  speaking on Woolwich Women at War.

In 1915, women, after an absence of 23 years, were once again brought back to work in the Royal Arsenal Woolwich due to the shell crisis. Despite the dangers and resistance to their presence in what was considered to be a male preserve, women of all ages and from all walks of life found themselves involved in the war effort as never before. This illustrated talk highlights the vital contribution that these women made that ultimately led to victory and to greater freedoms.

 

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshments

Call 01634 822312 to book

Lecture   Prof Ulf Schmidt Justifying Chemical Warfare: The Origins and Ethics of Britain’s Chemica

September 24th

Justifying Chemical Warfare: The Origins and Ethics of Britain's Chemical

 

Join us this month for a lecture from Professor Ulf Schmid (Professor of Modern History at the University of Kent) entitled 'Justifying Chemical Warfare: The Origins and Ethics of Britain's Chemical Warfare Programme, 1915-1945'

The lecture looks at some of the strategies of Just War theorists in making chemical warfare morally and militarily acceptable. It examines how experts and officials justified the development, possession and use of chemical weapons, and contextualises Britain’s delicate balancing act between deterrence and disarmament in the inter-war period, thus contributing to wider debates about the justification of military force, jus ad bellum; it explores conflicting expert opinions about acceptable conduct of war, jus in bello; and offers a hitherto neglected perspective to debates about war crimes, peace-building and reconciliation after the Great War, jus post bellum.

 

£5.00 per ticket includes

 

Call 01634 822312 to book

Lecture Dr Stefan Goebel Intimate Pictures: British and German war photography

October 29th 19.00

Dr Stefan Goebel  Intimate Pictures: British and German war photography from the Western Front

 

Join us this month to listen to Doctor Ulf Schmid  (Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent) who will be speaking on 'Intimate Pictures': British and German war photography from the Western Front".

War photography was a disappointment, at least in the eyes of the Ministry of Information: the drama of combat, the everyday heroism of officers and soldiers, and the scale of the battles – they were all but invisible in the pictures taken by the “Official Photographers” on the Western Front. What official photographs had captured in great quantity, though, were “vague stretches of country with no arresting feature to stir the imagination”. That was the frank assessment of Ivor Nicholson, the person in charge of pictorial propaganda.

The remedy that Nicholson suggested was that official photographers should concentrate on shooting “intimate pictures” at close range. That is, of course, what amateur photographers had excelled in doing all along. The men with their box and vest pocket cameras were experts at recording the everyday details of life at the front. Reverently kept in family photo albums, these grainy snapshots have often become heirlooms, many retaining their mnemonic power to this day.

 

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshments

Call 01634 822312 to book

Lecture Prof Mark Connelly Notes and swearies: obscene language in soldier’s speech and songs,

November 26th 19.00

Prof Mark Connelly  Notes and swearies: obscene language in soldier’s speech and songs, 1914-1918

 

Join us this month for a lecture from Professor Mark Connelly (Professor of Modern British Military History at the University of Ken) entitled 'Notes and swearies': obscene language in soldiers' speech and songs, 1914-1918

Soldiers were renowned for their use of obscenities, and to a lesser extent, blasphemies, during the First World War. As well as peppering their spoken language, it also played a crucial role in many songs which were then adopted by the home front after careful pruning. As well as exploring examples of obscenity, this lecture will look at the reasons behind the huge upsurge in bad language and ask whether it answered a deeper psychological need making the horrors of war bearable and alieviating the stress of frontline service.

 

£5.00 per ticket includes refreshments

 

Call 01634 822312 to book  

Lecture   James Scot Waterloo and the Royal Engineers

June 18th 1pm

James Scott   Waterloo and the Royal Engineers

 

Join us this lunch time, to listen to Royal Engineers Museum Curator, James Scott, speaking on Waterloo and the Royal Engineers.

The heroism of the various regiments that fought at Waterloo has often been the subject of historical narratives of the battle. The Corps of Royal Engineers had a minor role in the fighting itself, however, their contribution to the campaign is significant. In the period that preceded the battle, several Royal Engineers officers created maps of a large area south of Brussels (covering the area of the battle) for the Duke of Wellington. The maps were combined to form the larger map that we have at the Museum today. This lecture will convey the story of this nationally significant artefact, from its creation, to its redisplay in the RE Museum for the 200th anniversary of the battle.

 

FREE with normal admission

Call 01634 822312 to book

lecture Martin Stoneham The Story of the Albert Medal now superseded by the George Cross

September 10th 1pm

Martin Stoneham  The Story of the Albert Medal now superseded by the George Cross

 

Join us thislunch time to listen to Martin Stoneham (Chairman of the Friends of The Royal Engineers Museum and ex-serving Royal Engineer) as he speaks on the subject of The Story of the Albert Medal (now superseded by the George Cross).

This medal and the associated Edward Medal are probably now forgotten by many. Research into them has revealed some fascinating stories of heroism from the Victorian period until the outbreak of WW2.

 

FREE with normal admission

Call 01634 822312

Lecture   Amy Adams Sir Edmund Frederick Du Cane RE: Huguenots, Engineers and Wormwood Scrubs

October 15th 1pm

Amy Adams    Sir Edmund Frederick Du Cane RE: Huguenots, Engineers and Wormwood Scrubs

 

Join us this month to listen to the Huguenot Museum's Learning and Community Engagement Officer Amy Adams, as she speaks on the subject of Sir Edmund Frederick Du Cane RE: Huguenots, Engineers and Wormwood Scrubs.

Major-General Sir Edmund Frederick Du Cane was a descendent of one of the first Huguenot families to flee persecution in France and seek refuge in England. His ancestors played an important role in the foundation of many of Britain’s best known establishments and Edmund was no different. In this lecture discover how a young Royal Engineer came to be at the forefront of prison reform, designing arguably the most well-known prison in England, Wormwood Scrubs.

 

FREE with normal admission

 

Call 01634 822312

Lecture Gordon Corrigan The Indian Army on the Western Front

March 12th 1pm

Gordon Corrigan The Indian Army on the Western Front

 

Join us this lunch time, to listen to historian Gordon Corrigan who will be speaking on The Indian Army on the Western Front.

In August 1914 the British expeditionary force of four infantry divisions, one cavalry division and an independent brigade began to cross the channel.  It was said then, and has been said since, that the BEF of 1914 was the best equipped, the best trained and the best led body of troops ever to leave these shores, and that is probably true, but it was pitifully small beside the sixty infantry and ten cavalry divisions that the French put in the field. If Britain was to play any meaningful part in the war on land, as opposed to on the seas, then that army had to be reinforced and expanded hugely and swiftly.  In time, the Territorial Force, the New Armies, and the armies of the Dominions would contribute but that time was not yet, and in 1914 the only immediate source of professional trained manpower was the Indian Army, almost as big as the British army (which latter was spread all over the empire) and regular volunteers all. That requirement came very quickly: an Indian division was despatched to Persia to protect the oil fields and on the 6th and 7th of August 1914 the Lahore and Sirhind Infantry divisions and the Secunderabad cavalry brigade of the Indian Army were mobilised for the Western Front and began to move to the embarkation ports of Bombay and Karachi.  By September they were landing in Marseilles.  Their baptism of fire would not be long in coming.’

 

FREE with normal admission

Call 01634 822312 to book

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