Siborne’s Waterloo model: Reuniting soldiers with their swords

Conservation of Captain William Siborne’s large-scale Waterloo model is underway at the Royal Armouries in Leeds in advance of the bicentenary of the battle. The model is in fairly good overall condition considering its age (about 170 years), but it has understandably suffered damage over the years. Some of the soldiers’ weapons have been bent, detached or, in some cases, lost completely. While conserving a section of the model I came across a row of cavalry who had lost theirRead more

APRIL FOOL!

The proposed attack of the ‘Easter bunnies’ was clearly intended – though very well thought out and well planned – as an April Fool. Making this a 100 year old joke! The Letter was sent to the War Office and was opened by a Major C.P Deedes of the Kings Own Light Infantry, who was working as a General Staff Officer (Grade 3) at the time. Major Deedes wrote in his diary in response to the letter: Major Deedes clearlyRead more

Unusual War Efforts: Attack of the Easter-bunnies!

On this day in 1915, the then Major CP Deedes, member of the King’s Own Light Infantry, currently G.H.Q (General Headquarters Staff) at the War Office, received a very unusual letter suggesting a new alternative “method of warfare”. Rabbits. Around 200-300 Rabbits as a guideline. This is a real letter, sent to the war office in April 1915, suggesting that rabbits be used as a weapon in trench warfare. The unique idea was to train the rabbits to enter the trenches of the Germans byRead more

War memorials

Why do war memorials look the way they do? The War Memorials Trust estimates that there are 100,000 war memorials in the UK, and many of them follow a similar range of designs. There’s the statue of an infantryman, as in the memorial in Otley. There’s the Cenotaph style memorials that mimic the original design created for London by Edwin Lutyens in 1919. Some places, such as Victoria Park in Leicester, have an archway reminiscent of the Menin Gate inRead more

They That Are Left: the Royal Armouries hosts a stunning Remembrance photographic exhibition

“…They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them…” from Laurence Binyon’s ‘The Fallen’ (first published in The Times, 21 September 1914) Last week the Royal Armouries hosted the opening of photographer Brian David Stevens’ ‘They That Are Left’ exhibition, an inspiring ten-year project comprising of portrait photographs of war veterans, taken eachRead more

The Last Stand Opens, as a Landmark is Lost…

Photographer Marc Wilson, talks about the opening of The Last Stand and the importance of his project, after the loss of one his photographed locations. Last week the first solo show of my photographic exhibition, The Last Stand, opened at The Royal Armouries Museum, Fort Nelson, focusing on some of the last physical remnants of war in the 20th century – the remaining military defence structures. On show are 20 prints and remaining photos from the series are displayed onRead more