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

  Part Three: Private Companies Written by Philip Abbot  Archives and Records Manager for the Royal Armouries in Leeds. At least eighteen designs for armour using steel plate, mail and even textiles were manufactured commercially in Britain during the First Word War, and no less than forty patents for helmets and armour were taken out in Britain between 1914 and 1918. It comes as no surprise therefore to learn that Conan Doyle also received letters from a number of private companiesRead more

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

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

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