In the Archives: The Chilwell Crest

In May 2016, the First World War Archives project welcomed two students from Leeds University’s MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies Course. During their placement, Hanlun Ren and Yan Liu undertook a research project to digitise and research a small archive of material held by the Royal Armouries relating to Shell Filling Factory No.6 at Chilwell. They have been kind enough to write a bilingual blog for us based on an area of their research that particularly interested them –Read more

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s campaign for better armour on the Western Front: Part two: “Cranks and Lunatics”

  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s campaign for better body armour on the Western Front, part two. (See previous post here.) Written by Philip Abbott, Archives and Records Manager at the Royal Armouries. David Lloyd George noted in his wartime memoirs that when he became Minister of Munitions that he was deluged with letters from “cranks and lunatics” who had some new invention to propose. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own letters to The Times and The Observer resulted in a number of responsesRead more

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s campaign for better armour on the Western Front: Part one

Part One, Conan Doyle’s letters to The Times Written by Philip Abbott, Archives and Records Manager at the Royal Armouries. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, although he received his knighthood not for his contribution to English literature, but for defending Britain’s conduct of the Boer War (1899-1902). When the First World War broke out he was one of a number of famous authors who were secretly recruited by the War PropagandaRead more

The arrival of the FH70 at Fort Nelson – another new acquisition!

Written by Phil Magrath, Curator at Fort Nelson, Portsmouth. The Royal Armouries collection of artillery was recently enhanced with the addition of a Field Howitzer of 155mm calibre (FH-70). This system was originally a collaborative project between the UK, USA and Germany, all desirous to change older systems, which, in the case of the UK, was the 5.5-inch Medium Gun (also in the collection). The FH-70 is able to fire NATO standard ammunition including those with extended range base bleedRead more

Somme 100 – Huddersfield Drill Hall Commemoration

On the 1st July 2016 a commemoration was held by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire at Huddersfield Drill Hall to honour the Yorkshire Regiments that had been engaged in the Somme Offensive 100 years earlier. After the presentation of the colours a traditional Drumhead service was held by Canon David Wilkes (Chaplain to the Yorkshire Regiment) and moving letters from the front were read by current members of the Yorkshire Regiment. The band of the Yorkshire Regiment played theRead more

New acquisition: the Missaglia Breastplate

On 29th June, at the Thomas Del Mar sale, the Royal Armouries purchased a rare breastplate by a famous family of armourers, the Missaglia family. The breastplate is stamped with the armourer’s mark of the Missaglia family: a Lombardic ‘M’ under a split cross on the right shoulder. The Missaglia’s were the foremost armourers of the Middle Ages, working from their famous workshop in Milan. This breastplate was made by Giovanni Angelo Missaglia (recorded 1504-1529), a third generation armourer ofRead more