Meet Team Australia: Sarah Hay and Phillip Leitch | Royal Armouries Easter Joust

Our Easter Tournament sees jousters from across the globe compete for personal glory and international bragging rights. Ahead of this year’s joust, meet team Australia, represented this year by Sarah Hay and Phillip Leitch. Sarah Hay Motto: ‘Courage.  Passion.  Integrity.’ An equestrian since she could walk, Sarah Hay has competed in the disciplines of show hacking, dressage, side saddle, camp drafting, sporting, jumping, eventing, mounted archery and now jousting. Her passion for the joust was inspired at first sight of theRead more

Stumbling towards equality? The role of women in the First World War

This year marks both the centenary of the end of the First World War and of the passing of the Representation of the People Act, allowing some women the right to vote for the first time. Here we take a look at just a few of the remarkable images from our archives showing women at work on the Home Front and beyond, the images reveal the essential role women played in the war effort. The lives of many women changedRead more

Edith Garrud: The West country superwoman who created the ‘jujutsuffragettes’

Words by Bridget Clifford, Keeper of the Tower Armouries. “Physical force seems the only thing in which women have not demonstrated their equality to men, and while we are waiting for the evolution which is slowly taking place and bringing about that equality, we might just as well take time by the forelock and use science, otherwise ju-jitsu.” So wrote Mrs Edith Garrud, west country superwoman who introduced Far Eastern martial arts to the W.S.P.U. Who was Edith Garrud? 1910 was theRead more

Object of the Month for January: A Kalashnikov Rifle from the Battlefields of Vietnam

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this month’s blog, Jonathan Ferguson, Interim Keeper of Firearms & Artillery, uncovers an interesting history behind this AK-47.  The Avtomat Kalashnikova or AK (strictly speaking, ‘AK-47’ was just a prototype) and its variants are found today in every active conflict zone. It is arguably the most important firearm in the world, taking the place of the Mauser bolt-action rifle. It is certainly theRead more

The Development of the 1907 Pattern Bayonet for the Short, Magazine Lee Enfield Rifle

The evolution of the 1907 Pattern bayonet was not a single-step event and some wonderful rarities appeared in the process. In this blog post, Peter Smithurst, Curator Emeritus at the Royal Armouries traces the development of the 1907 Pattern bayonet. …Then here’s to the British bay’nit Made of Sheffield steel, And here’s to the men who bore it – Stalwart men and leal… Chorus of ‘The Ballad of the Bayonet’ from “A Yeoman’s Letters,” PT Ross, 1901 Read the full poemRead more

5th November 1851: Tower of London under fire

Remember, remember! The fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason Why the Gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot! English Folk Verse (c.1870) We uncover some of the interesting histories surrounding Bonfire night with Bridget Clifford, Keeper of Tower History at the Tower of London. The Times, Friday 7 November 1851 “THAMES – A great number of persons, among whom were several women, were brought before Mr. INGHAM, charged with discharging fireworks in the publicRead more