Military history events, lectures, and exhibitions – July 2021

MHM offers a glimpse into the best military history exhibitions and experiences available to the public in July 2021, including The Tank Museum's fair and auction, and the National Army Museum's exhibit on West Indian servicemen.


Preserving the Nation
National Museum of the United States Army, 1775 Liberty Drive Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
+1 800 506 2672

‘A double purpose induced me and most others to enlist, to assist in abolishing slavery and to save the country from ruin.’ So said Sergeant Major Christian Fleetwood during the mid-1860s. The Preserving the Nation Gallery, which is part of the National Museum of the United States Army, gives visitors an understanding of Fleetwood’s decision to participate in the defining American event of the 19th century: the Civil War. The gallery also documents the army’s role in westward expansion, including the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as well as the Indian Wars and the Mexican War. Tickets are free but require advance booking.

National Museum of the United St Image: National Museum of the United States Army.

West Indian Soldier
Until 31 October 2021
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT
+44 (0) 20 7730 0717

Encompassing more than 300 years of history, this exhibition tells the story of the recruitment and role of West Indian servicemen and -women in the British Army, the experiences of British soldiers in the Caribbean, and their combined service in conflicts through the centuries. It has been delivered as part of an ongoing project to explore military heritage shared between the UK and Caribbean, in partnership with the West India Committee and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Highlights including a rare portrait of a private soldier of the 8th West India Regiment, painted in 1804 and acquired by the museum just three years ago.

James McCauley Image: National Army Museum.


In the cockpit: Spitfire N3200
Until 30 September 2021
Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, CB22 4QR
www.iwm.org.uk/events/ in-the-cockpit-spitfire-n3200
+44 (0) 20 7091 3067

This is a unique opportunity to sit inside the cockpit of an airworthy combat veteran Mark 1 Spitfire. The aircraft is the real deal: during the war, N3200 flew with 19 Squadron from Duxford and was involved in D-Day. It was later shot down, crash landing on a beach, where it sank into the sand and was not recovered for nearly 50 years. After an introductory talk explaining the plane’s history and its subsequent restoration, participants can then enjoy 15 minutes at the controls. Photo opportunities are also available.

Image: IWM

Worth checking out

Memory Wars: World War II at 75 and beyond
9-11 September 2021 Higgins Hotel & Conference Center
In the first international conference of its kind, the National WWII Museum will be examining how museums, filmmakers, media, memorials, and historians (both popular and academic) help to shape memories of the war that the United States entered 80 years ago this December.

The Galloway Hoard: Viking-age treasure
Until 12 September 2021 National Museum of Scotland
www.nms.ac.uk/exhibitions-events/exhibitions/national-museum-of- scotland/the-galloway-hoard-viking-age-treasure/
Buried in around AD 900, the Galloway Hoard is one of the richest collections of rare and unique Viking Age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. It contains gold and silver, wool and linen, as well as Scotland’s earliest example of silk. This free exhibition allows visitors to take a close look at the treasure.

The Tank Museum’s military fair and auction
6 November 2021 The Tank Museum
Bovington’s Tank Museum is partnering with Duke’s auction house to host a new militaria fair and auction, selling a range of uniforms, insignia, books, medals, armour, and even military vehicles. The lots will be available to view 3-5 November, and those who cannot attend in person can bid online.