Events

Animals In War Family Activities

7th - 10th April

Animals in the First World War
Family Activities

During the First World War millions of animals were used for transport, to carry vital communications and as companions to the troops. Join us as we reveal the vital roles a selection of animals played in the war through our FREE* family-friendly drop in events.
Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm


Tuesday 7th  April   Matching Horses
Horses were heavily used in the First World War. Not only were they used for cavalry attacks but for carrying food, water, ammunition and medical supplies to men at the front. Create your own horse and solider stick puppets and use them to create a scene from War Horse.


Wednesday 8th April     Secret Carrier Pigeons
Pigeons played an important communication role during the First World War as they proved to be an extremely reliable way of sending messages. Join us to learn about the crucial role of pigeons by making your own card carrier pigeon and writing a secret message to send.


Thursday 9th April    Camel Play
Camels were used extensively in the First World War. Camels were able to carry heavier loads farther than horses. In the desert a camel can routinely go up to five days without water whereas horses need to be watered daily. Turn yourself into a camel by making a camel mask and hump.


Friday 10th April   Mascot Dogs
Dogs had a vital part to play in the First World War. Dogs were positioned in a variety of roles, depending on their size, intelligence and training. Generally, the roles fell into the category of sentry dogs, scout dogs, casualty dogs, explosive dogs, ratters and mascot dogs. Make your own non-sew sock dog to use as a companion just like a soldier’s dog.

Indian Army in First World War Family Activities

14th - 17th April

Indian Army in the First World War
Family Activities


Discover the crucial role the Indian Army played during the First World War. Come along to our FREE* family-friendly drop in events and unravel the story of individual soldiers, and the weapons they were using.
Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm


Tuesday 14th  April   Talwar swords
The talwar swords were the traditional style of sword used by the Sikhs in the Indian Army. These thinner, slightly curved blades could be used in both cavalry and infantry fighting. Create a card model of a talwar sword and see how it felt to fight like a soldier of the Indian Army.


Wednesday 15th April   The Art of the Medal
Many men showed enormous courage during the War and some received medals to congratulate them. Many in the Indian army won medals for their bravery, as well as 11 who won the Victoria Cross. Create your own medal out of clay that you can proudly wear.


Thursday 16th April    Chakra
While the Indian army was fighting with the British Army, the Sikhs still occasionally used the traditional weapons of India. The Chakra was a disk-shaped blade that could be thrown like a Frisbee or held in close combat. Create a card model of a Chakra and become a soldier of the Indian Army.


Friday 17th April   High in the Sky 
During the First World War, the Royal Flying Corps had the important job of defending Britain and its allies in the air. At the age of 18, the most famous Indian pilot, Indra Lal “Laddie” Roy became the Second Lieutenant of the RFC. Create a wooden model of a plane like Indra Lal Roy would have flown, and find out what happened to him during the War.

*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 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.

 

10am - 5pm

All Day Activities


Family Activities Create a wooden model of a plane and find out about the most famous Indian pilot, Indra Lal “Laddie” Roy. Courtyard


Pop-up Exhibition Exhibition detailing the role and lives of individuals in the Indian Army during the First World War Courtyard


National Army Museum Sikh Troop and National Army Museum staff available to ask questions Courtyard


Timed Activities


11.00am - 11.20am Sikh Toop – Drill Outside Area


11.30am – 12.30pm ‘A Special Relationship? The Indian Sepoy and the British Sahib during the First World War’ Adam Prime Field Marshal Room


13.20pm – 14.20pm ‘The Neuve Chapelle memorial: commemorating the Indian Corps on the Western Front’ Mark Connelly Field Marshal Room


14.30pm - 14.50pm Sikh Troop – Drill Outside Area


15.00pm – 15.20pm Show and Tell- Royal Engineers Museums Indian Collection Courtyard

Swing Back In Time- Museums at Night festival

16th May

 

Dust off those dancing shoes and head down to the Royal Engineers Museum for an evening full of energetic swing dancing in celebration of the Word Lindy Hop Day and as part of the annual Museums at Night festival. This evening looks to be an entertaining and fun night, appealing to dancers and non-dancers alike. With a cocktail bar and other period refreshments, this event really is the highlight of the vintage calendar. Browse the vintage market for those all-important clothes and accessories.  Have your hair whipped up into a vintage style and finish of the look with vintage makeup. Pose for a vintage photography for a little memento. Vintage attire is a must!

Lesson starts at 19.00 with main entry at 20.00. Booking in advance is essential for both tickets.

Tickets are £10 entry or £15 with a lesson.

Please call 01634 822312 to book your place today.

 

 

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.

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

June 4th 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       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

Voluntary Arts Week Day

23rd May

Come along and celebrate the creativity on your doorstep


Voluntary Arts (South East England) is hosting a celebration of local voluntary and amateur cultural activities at The Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham, Saturday 23rd May.

From 15 – 24 May 2015, Voluntary Arts Week will celebrate creative activity across the UK and Republic of Ireland – and everyone is invited to join in. The idea behind this special week is to highlight the fantastic creativity that regularly takes place in our villages, towns and cities.

There will be plenty of activities to get involved with, including: art, jewellery and singing workshops from River Voice Community Choir, LV21 Making More Group and Wendy Daws with the Kent Association for the Blind (KAB) Medway Art Group. For further information on times and locations of the different activities consult the Voluntary Arts Week website


http://voluntaryartsweek.org/events/


facebook.com/VoluntaryArtsWeek             @VolArtsWeek  /  #VolArtsWeek15

Saturday 23rd May, 11.30am to 5.00pm (4.00pm last admission


2 FOR 1 Entry to the Museum

 

• Join members of the LV21 Making More group to find out more about their work and learn how to make a unique brooch based on the low-tech thrifty techniques from 1940s.
During the drop-in taster session you will see examples of the groups work and genuine vintage brooches from the 1930s and 40s made with plastics, textiles, leather and found objects, before being guided through the process of making your own brooch using variety of recycled textiles, curtain rings and pins.


• Get involved with an exciting arts activity based on the current exhibition of art by Wendy Daws with the KAB Medway Art Group on display in the Open Gallery. Visitors of all ages are invited to become detectives, equipped with clipboards, tactile foil boards and pencils. The mission will be to explore the museum collections and emboss your findings on the foil board, eventually returning to add to a group artwork.

• River Voice is a not-for-profit community choral group open to adult participants of all abilities. Join in a short singing workshop led by a professional musician to improve your musical skills, have fun and experience singing together in an ensemble.  There will be two performances by the choir throughout the day, see details on the Voluntary Arts Week website.

• RE Museum activity - Become a Zulu warrior. All Zulu warriors must have a shield to defend themselves, but the patterns were used to identify which regiment you belonged to. Design your own personalised shield to identify your regiment.
 

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