3 Coy Visits National Army Museum

3 Coy Visits National Army Museum

25 April 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force offers its cadets a variety of interesting opportunities, with a particular emphasis on learning more about the British Army and remembering the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces. On 23rd April, 45 cadets from No.3 (Ironside) Company visited London, taking part in a sight-seeing tour which ended with a visit to the National Army Museum.

6 D2 A7922

Cadets at the museum.

The walking tour took in The Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, The Cenotaph and The Royal Hospital Chelsea. The cadets also got to see something of the London Marathon, which was running on that day. Much of this was an entirely new experience for many of the cadets, with some never having been to London before.

Untitled 1 19g

The group at Buckingham Palace.

The National Army Museum Chelsea was founded by Royal Charter in 1960. The museum seeks to show the diversity of British soldiers’ service, over multiple centuries and many countries. It has many extraordinary exhibits, including the skeleton of Napoleon’s Horse, Marengo, the hat and cloak worn by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo, and Lawrence of Arabia’s robes and dagger.

6 D2 A7854

Uniforms & Lawrence of Arabia's robes.

Its' galleries chart the formation of the British Army in the 17th Century, through European, African and Asian conflicts, and include an extensive temporary exhibition about the British Army in Germany during the Cold War. There is also an impressive collection of First World War small arms, and many interactive exhibits, including a mock-up of a WW2 tank which visitors can climb into, and an interactive digital display teaching visitors drill.

6 D2 A7867

Cadet Amato in the interactive tank display.

A Second World War reenactor gave an excellent talk about WW2 Commandos, and our own ex-services instructors were on hand to tell cadets about there own experiences of using some of the more modern equipment on display.

6 D2 A7887

Cadets listen to a WW2 commando reenactor.

The cadets clearly learned a great deal and were enthusiastic about the visit, with many of them particularly liking the interactive elements. Cdt Ashley Marsh said; ‘I really liked the tank. I liked that you could climb up the ladder into the turret. LCpl Benjamin Huggins said: ‘I liked the walking tour, I like getting to see all the historical places.’ Cdt Zuzia Dziuban said; ‘the weaponry was best- I liked all the guns!’.

6 D2 A7860

Napoleon's horse skeleton & Waterloo memorabilia.

3 Coy’s Training Officer, Lieutenant Vicky Houghton, said; ‘It was a pleasure to take over 40 cadets from across Cambridgeshire to London, and for many it was their first time in the capital city. The cadets kept their standards high and behaved well during the trip and had a good experience of something different.’

IMG 9752

WW1 death plaque given to next-of-kin.

Text & photos by SI Doug Stuart