The Battle of Jutland: an eyewitness account of the largest sea battle in history

The 31 May/1 June marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. It was the only major First World War fleet action fought between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet, and the largest sea battle in history. Our Archives and Records Manager, Philip Abbot, uncovers some of the details of this important battle through the journals of Gerald Slade, midshipman on HMS Inflexible. Gerald Slade was born in Hong Kong in 1899, and entered theRead more

750th Anniversary of the Battle of Evesham

The 4th of August is the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Evesham. Evesham was the second and final pitched battle of the Second Barons’ War (1263-67). Setting: Henry III’s mismanagement of the realm through failure in foreign wars, rebellion in Gascony, poor distribution of patronage and increasing financial and judicial grievances, had led to increasing baronial dissatisfaction. This culminated in the Provisions of Oxford (1258) and Westminster (1259) where the barons forced reforms on the King. These covered threeRead more

The Big Guns of WWII: 25 pounder self-propelled gun

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 today. The Royal Artillery experimented with a number of designs in their attempted to improve the mobility of artillery. Self-propelled guns on tracked mountings gaveRead 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

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse…

With Halloween imminent and the chance of a so-called Zombie Apocalypse increased, our Visitor Experience Team have been exploring the different weapons and methods, that could be used to battle the living dead. In a light-hearted blog, our team have identified the best and worst weapons within the Royal Armouries’ collection to defeat a zombie…. Short Magazine Lee Enfield/SMLE MK.III* Country of origin: United Kingdom Calibre: .303 in Rate of fire: 12-15 rpm (rounds per minute) Capacity: 10 rounds Effective Range:Read more

No sitting on the fence for these Giants!

Clash of the Giants …. Huddersfield Giants’ quartet Jermaine McGillvary, Michael Lawrence, Luke George and Leroy Cudjoe clashed swords at the Royal Armouries in Leeds – thanks to the Royal Armouries Fencing Club. Like Rugby League, fencing requires considerable skill and speed so the Giants’ stars were ideally placed to enjoy one of Europe’s oldest combat sports. The RFL have encouraged all the Super League teams to try their hands at various sports and activities. To see a film clipRead more