An MHM selection of some of the best events coming up over the next few months.

War Music: notes from the First World War

In the First World War, music was heard on the battlefield, in concert halls, in the camps, and in churches. Music reflected all the emotions of war, with everything from requiems to rousing singalongs. To mark the First World War centenary, this new exhibition takes a broad look at the relationship between music and war, setting it against the background of radical musical change.

‘War Music’ explores the reality of the battlefield. See a wind-up trench gramophone, a tenor horn camouflaged with black paint to stop it attracting the attention of the enemy, a burnt-out harmonica, and soldiers’ songbooks.

The unparalleled outpouring of poetry provoked by the Great War is also examined, as many verses were set to music by the foremost composers of the day.

Finally, the displays follow the Academy’s own story during the War. Discover how students and alumni fared once they had enlisted and left London far behind.

WHEN: 22 April 2014-21 March 2015. Open Monday-Friday 11.30am-5.30pm and Saturdays noon-4pm
WHERE: Royal Academy of Music Museum, Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5HT
HOW MUCH: free
PHONE: 020 7873 7443


Join us for UNCOVERED – a three-day commemoration of the First World War in the company of renowned authors, journalists, academics, and specialists from the National Trust itself.

Subjects covered will include nursing and medical advances, espionage, the role of women in war, and the cultural impact of conflict. Among those attending will be Kate Adie and the actors Julian Glover and Isla Blair, who will present an evening of war poetry.

UNCOVERED is a part of First World War commemorations at Dunham Massey Hall which, over the course of the next two years, will be transformed to replicate Stamford Military Hospital, continuing to play this role until November 2015.

The hospital was a sanctuary from the trenches for 282 Tommies, and has been recreated using original material, records, and photographs from the Stamford family archive. The family owned Dunham Massey, and remained here throughout the First World War.

WHEN: 7-9 June 2014
WHERE: Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ
HOW MUCH: £15 day ticket
PHONE: 01619411025

Heroes of Adventure Exhibition

This exhibition explores the history of the National Trust property Quarry Bank through the course of the First World War, using stories from the Greg family, from workers and the villagers of Styal, and concerning the Mill itself. With photographs, letters, and belongings from the Gregs and the workers, it is a captivating tale of hope, courage, loss, and love.

WHEN: 7 June-16 November 2014
WHERE: National Trust, Quarry Bank, Styal, Cheshire, SK9 4LA
HOW MUCH: £9.50, free to members of the National Trust
PHONE: 01625 445 845

Wylye Valley 1914 project

This project will portray the arrival in 1914 of thousands of Kitchener’s Volunteers in the Wylye Valley, and note the impact they had on the local community and agriculture. It will show the manoeuvres of the BEF, neighbouring French armies, and opposing German armies up to November 1914. The expansion and development of the BEF will be explained, using a 26ft-wide map of the camps here; descriptions of the order of battle of the first two divisions, the 25th and 26th; three models of parts of the area in 1914; a variety of artefacts; a 98ft trench; films on the militarisation of the valley and the BEF; and talks from historians from the Great War Society, the Garrison (Artillery) Group, and the Yeomanry.

The full programme is on the project website, given below.

WHEN: 26-27 July 2014. Open Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 10am-3pm.
WHERE: Codford village hall and field, Broadlease, Codford, Wiltshire, BA12 0PP. Marshals will direct traffic to a parking area within 200 yards of the hall, or to overflow parking with a free park and ride. Get there early!
HOW MUCH: free entry and parking; no dogs except guiders
PHONE: 01985 850 247

The Muckleburgh Military Collection Display Weekend

This is your chance to see many of the Collection’s tanks and vehicles on the move at the Muckleburgh Military Collection Display Weekend. There will be displays by other military vehicle owners including the RAF and army. There are rides around the old Weybourne Anti-Aircraft Camp to see the recently refurbished gun pits overlooking the North Sea. Shops and stalls will sell military items together with plenty of catering facilities offering lots to do. Set in beautiful surroundings with lovely sea views, the event is an exciting weekend for children and adults alike.

WHEN: 31 May-1 June 2014
WHERE: Weybourne, nr Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7EH
HOW MUCH: £12 per day for adults, £8 per day for children; under-5s enter free. Includes parking and museum entry
PHONE: 01263 588 210

World War I centenary events at the British Academy

Join eminent academics this summer as the British Academy hosts a series of free World War I centenary events. On 10-11 July, experts at the free two-day conference on the emotional history of war will explore the degree to which war impacted on the feelings of those who lived through times of conflict, and how individuals have responded to war from the Medieval to the modern period. In an evening lecture on 9 July, Professor Jay Winter will look at shell-shock as a new category of emotional response to the terrors of modern war, arising not from individual war experience, but from the monstrous character of the war itself. Finally, Dr Eugene Rogan and Sir Adam Roberts will discuss Islam and the Great War in the Middle East (1914-1918), exploring how Islam had more impact on European policies than on the loyalties of the Muslim peoples caught up in the First World War.

WHEN: throughout 2014
WHERE: The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
PHONE: 020 7969 5246

Beating Retreat (Household Division)

‘Beating Retreat’ refers to a military drum call that can trace its origins to 16th-century England, and was first used to recall nearby units to their garrison. Over the centuries that followed, it developed into a musical ceremonial event that is practised throughout the Commonwealth, but is at its most spectacular in the magnificent surroundings of Horse Guards Parade in central London.

This is a sunset pageant of precision drill, horses, cannon, and fireworks, all accompanied by music. The Massed Bands, Pipes and Drums, and Corps of Drums of the Household Division, are supported by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and visiting military bands from other services and around the world. Historically, on at least one evening, a senior member of the British Royal Family attends to take the salute.

This year, the bands of the Troupes de Marine and the Légion étrangère will be welcomed from France to share our WWI and D-Day commemorations, and strengthen the traditional links between our two countries.

WHEN: 11-12 June 2014
WHERE: Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX
HOW MUCH: £15-£40
PHONE: 020 7414 2207

Brooklands Great War

Join us as we mark the centenary of the start of WWI with a special event encompassing the many aspects of Brooklands’ involvement in the Great War.

For this special event we will be gathering automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, commercial vehicles, buses, and aircraft from the period up to 1919.

In the paddock, there will be a display of the vehicles taking part in the Great War Centenary Parade in London on 4 August. At lunchtime, these pre-war vehicles will be taking part in a Cavalcade round the Mercedes-Benz World circuit.

Overhead will be a stunning air show from the Great War Display Team, who will be flying their replicas of a Sopwith Triplane, a BE2, and an SE5. On the ground, our own aircraft will make a grand entrance too: as well as running the Sopwith Camel, we hope to bring the Vimy to life for the first time in five years – it last flew in 2009.

In the Clubhouse, there will be period film shows, and the London Bus Museum will be putting on a display of buses from the era.

WHEN: 3 August 2014
WHEN: Brooklands Museum Trust, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, KT13 0QN
HOW MUCH: £11 adult, £10 concession, £6 child, £30 family
PHONE: 01932 857 381

Southampton Maritime Festival

Take a step back in time at Southampton Maritime Festival, as it commemorates the wartime and maritime history of Southampton. During this two-day event, many historic ships and vessels will be making their way into port, including the national historic fleet’s HMS Medusa, the tug SS Challenge, the ST Shieldhall, and many more. You will be able to learn about each vessel’s role in the world wars, see heritage divers, and learn about Southampton’s wider wartime history.

On land you can explore a large number of displays and demonstrations over the course of the two days. The quayside will be packed with exhibits including historic cars, steam exhibits, and heritage trams, while Southampton’s Ocean Cruise Terminal will house indoor heritage displays, art exhibits, craft fairs, and traders. With over 12,000 visitors last year, the event is a highlight of the summer calendar.

WHEN: 22-23 August 2014
WHERE: Ocean Terminal, Dock Gate 4, Southampton
HOW MUCH: advance tickets are available at for the ‘early bird’ prices of £5 adults, £4.50 concessions, and £1 children
PHONE: 02380 593 290

Remember Scarborough!

On 16 December 1914, German battlecruisers fired hundreds of shells on Scarborough, Whitby, and Hartlepool – an offensive that became known as ‘The Bombardment’. Hundreds died, many were injured, and buildings and homes were destroyed. This attack caused great public outcry, and ‘Remember Scarborough!’ became the slogan for an impassioned recruitment drive.

Scarborough Museums Trust will launch the ‘Remember Scarborough!’ exhibition this summer, 100 years on. Explore what happened to Scarborough on that day, and what impact The Bombardment had on the town, the country, and the war effort. Related events and talks will run from 26 July.

With funding from Arts Council England, Scarborough Museums Trust is leading the ‘Remember Scarborough!’ project, working with a number of partners across the region. For all further information, please contact us or visit our website.

WHEN: 26 July 2014-4 January 2015
WHERE: Scarborough Art Gallery, The Crescent, Scarborough, YO11 2PW
HOW MUCH: all tickets to Scarborough Art Gallery are £3 (includes 12 months’ entry to Scarborough Art Gallery and the Rotunda Museum)
PHONE: 01723 384 515

Florence Nightingale Museum

The Florence Nightingale Museum will mark the centenary of the First World War with a special exhibition honouring the inspirational work of nurses in war-torn France. ‘The Hospital in the Oatfield: the art of nursing in the First World War’ opens on 13 March 2014, and centres on a series of ten remarkable paintings by Victor Tardieu of the field hospital run by the Society beauty, Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland. Never before displayed in public, the paintings capture a moment of tranquillity and transformation amid the turmoil of the First World War. The exhibition explores the crucial role played by women in the battlefields of France and Belgium, and shows the incredible innovations made by nurses in challenging and dangerous conditions.

WHEN: 13 March-26 October 2014. Open 10am-5pm daily
WHERE: Florence Nightingale Museum, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7EW
HOW MUCH: £7.80 adult, £4.80 children, £5.30 Concessions, £18.60 family
PHONE: 020 7620 0374

Tracks to the Trenches

‘Tracks to the Trenches’, based at the Apedale Valley Light Railway, will commemorate the vital role which light railways played in supporting the armies of all the combatants in the First World War. All of the major armies used light railways to support their operations, the Germans and French from the outset of the campaign, with the British realising the value of this approach a little later on, and finally the Americans arriving in a big way!

The Apedale site has a large collection of WWI-era railway equipment, and many guest items are expected. There will be steam trains giving rides on our ¼-mile passenger railway, model railways, re-enactors, vintage vehicles, and even a working coal-mine on site! A show not to be missed, and sure to appeal to one and all.

WHEN: 12-14 September 2014
WHERE: Apedale Valley Light Railway, Apedale Community Country Park, Loomer Road, Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs. Sat-nav users should use the postcode ST5 7LB
HOW MUCH: £8 adults, £4 children. Advance tickets will be on sale from July: either call in at our shop at Apedale on any Saturday, or go online at or
WEB:,, or on Facebook
PHONE: 0845 094 1953

To see this promotional feature as it appeared in issue 45 of Military History Monthly, click here.