In this new monthly blog series, one of our curators will write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. To start us off, Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson has picked a very unique item indeed… our Vampire Killing Kit (perfect for Hallowe’en!) Visit our collection online to see more images and discover more about this … Continue reading The Vampire Killing Kit: Object of the Month for October
To mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe day, our Portsmouth site Fort Nelson will be firing the impressive 25 pounder self-propelled gun at 1pm and 3pm today. Also known as the Sexton, the gun was developed to support rapidly advancing forces in later stages of World War Two. The gun will be fired at at 1pm and 3pm … Continue reading Marking 70 years since VE Day – The Big Guns of WWII: 25 pounder self-propelled gun
In 1857 native soldiers of the Indian Army rose up against the British Empire in what became known as the Indian Mutiny. It's often said that the cause of this unrest was the paper cartridge issued for use with the new Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle. These were greased at one end to lubricate the bullet, … Continue reading Bite the Bullet
The last battle on English soil was fought on 18 December 1745, when dragoons of the Duke of Cumberland’s Government army caught up with the rearguard of the retreating Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart – ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’. The rebel Jacobites had advanced as far as Derby, but due to lack of support from … Continue reading Going by the book!
Though it looks like something out of a video game with its twin bayonets, this is a real gun. It is the Sterling S11 sub-machine gun, designed in 1965 as a follow-up to the classic Sterling Mk.4/L2A3 of the 1950s (the latter of which doubled as the Stormtrooper's blasters in 'Star Wars'). It was meant … Continue reading Weird and Wonderful
Mass-produced military firearms rarely survive with much of their service histories intact. At the Royal Armouries in Leeds we recently discovered an exception that has been hiding a lot of history - in plain sight - in the markings stamped and scratched into its metal body. It is a rare type of Mk.II STEN made … Continue reading STEN – Now and Then