Army museums are an important part of any country’s heritage, yet how many people have visited one? Unless you have immediate connections to the army, you may not even consider it. However, there are many reasons why you should consider visiting a British army museum.
A visit to the museum will help broaden your knowledge of the British army campaigns of the past – the successes and failures – the heroes and leaders. You can find inspiration in the stories of selflessness and feel sadness at the losses of life. It can be educational for young and old alike.
See examples of uniforms and weapons, look at the photographs and trench art, and read the moving accounts of life at war.
Children can see history come to life better than they can in a classroom, and those who have lived through a war can reminisce and learn more.
Army museums are usually geared up to make your visit as interesting and enjoyable as possible. You may find that there are maps, a restaurant, café or snack facility, and disabled access. There is often a shop too where you can buy a souvenir of your day.
On a more personal note, a military museum can help with family research and military genealogy. If you know an individual’s regiment or corps museum you can find out how your ancestor would have lived and fought and maybe even find mention of them in the records and personal effects held by the museum such as war diaries. The staff are generally very friendly and helpful and can assist you with your research.
Army museums can be free or chargeable, but you may find that there are concessions for serving army members, students or frequent visitors. Perhaps you can sign up as a friend and help support the heritage of the British army.
You may also find that the museum puts on special events such as workshops that may be of interest to you. Signing up to a newsletter can keep you informed of everything that your favourite army museums are doing.
There are 136 military museums to be discovered in the UK, all of which are worth a visit if you are interested in the British army or British history.