Museums & Archives for the United Kingdom in WW1
Some of the major museums in the United Kingdom which have WW1 related archives and/or exhibitions are listed here.
In the list below click to show the place on the map or to expand the details.
Army Medical Services Museum, Surrey
The museum holds collections for the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC), Royal Army Dental Corps (RADC) and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC).
The collections and archives cover the period from the English Civil War to the Army Medical Services working in the present day, illustrating how army medicine and healthcare for both humans and animals, has developed in that time. There are displays containing uniforms, medals, medical, dental and veterinary equipment.
The museum has a shop and gifts are also available to purchase from the online shop at www.ams-shop.org.uk/.
Education and Learning services at the museum are being developed, with a provision for study material for GCSE History of Medicine.
The museum welcomes group visits of all ages. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. Visitors are required to bring I.D. with them, as the museum is located in Keogh Barracks. Visitors should go to the main gate of the barracks on Mytchett Place Road where a pass will be issued.
Address: Army Medical Services Museum, Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot GU12 5RQ
Telephone: (Shop and general queries) 01252 868612 (military 94229 5212)
Telephone: (Director and Curatorial staff) 01252 868820 (military 94229 5320)
Fax: 01252 868832
British Library Newspapers, London
The archive of British Library Newspapers is located in north London. It holds major collections of British and overseas newspapers, magazines, trade papers and comics.
Open: Monday - Saturday: 10.00 - 17.00* (*Applications for newspapers must be made before 16.15)
Closed: Sunday & English Public Holidays
Address: British Library Newspapers, Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HE
Website: (Newspaper Reading Room) www.bl.uk
Fort Widley, World War 1 Remembrance Centre
A new centre (opened in 2013) at the historic Fort Widley. There are displays, artefacts, exhibits and memorabilia, a memorial centre and a walk through trench system.
Open daily 10.30 to 18.00
Groups and school groups are welcome by appointment.
For more information visit the website.
Address: Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill Road, Portsmouth PO6 3LS
Website: www.visitportsmouth.co.uk World War 1 Remembrance Centre
Telephone: 02392 798751
Guards Regimental Museum, London
The museum holds collections of uniforms, medals, pictures and much more relating to the men to served with the regiments of the Foot Guards.
Please note that personal Service Records cannot be accessed through the museum. It is advisable to contact the museum in writing with any request regarding Service Records.
Museum collections relate to:
Grenadier Guards, 1st or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards, 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, King’s Royal Regiment of Guards, His Majestie’s Regiment of Guards (Wentworth’s Regiment), Coldstream Guards, Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, Lord General’s Regiment of Foot Guards, Lord General’s Regiment of Foot, General Monck’s Regiment (The Coldstreamers), Scots Guards, Scots Fusilier Guards, 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards, Scotch Guards (or Scotts Guards), The King’s Lyfe Guards of Foot, The King’s Foot Guards, The King’s Regiment, His Majestie’s Regiment of Guards, Our Regiment of Guards, New Regiment of Foot Guards, Argyll’s Regiment of Royal Scotsmen, Irish Guards, Welsh Guards, Guards Camel Regiment, Machine Gun Guards, Guards Machine Gun Regiment, Guards Parachute Company.
Open daily: 10.00 - 16.00 (Last admissions 15.30). (Check for closure days via the website.)
Admission charge. Children unders 16 years free.
Address: Guards Museum, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London SW1E 6HQ
Telephone: 020 7414 3428 or 020 7414 3271
Household Cavalry Regimental Museum, London
The new museum was opened in 2007 by Her Majesty the Queen. The museum collections relate to 300 years of the history of the Regiment.
The history of the Regiment includes: The Life Guards, 1st Life Guards, 2nd Life Guards, Horse Grenadier Guards, Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons), Royal Horse Guards (The Blues), Royal Horse Guards (Blue), King’s or 1st Regiment of Horse, Royal Regiment of Horse (Oxford Blues).
Daily Ceremony of the Changing of the Guard: 11.00; Inspection of the Guard: 16.00
Open daily: March - September 10.00 - 18.00; October - February 10.00 - 17.00
Closed: 24, 25 and 26 December
Address: Household Cavalry Museum, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX
Telephone: 020 7930 3070
Imperial War Museum Duxford
Imperial War Museum Duxford is located on a former First and Second World War airfield.
There are over 200 aircraft, tanks, boats and military vehicles to see. Award-winning interactive displays plus the Battle of Britain exhibition, the Museum of the Parachute Regiment & Airborne Forces, the American Air Museum and the AirSpace exhibition.
Open daily from 10.00 hours. Summer closing time: 18.00 hours; winter closing time 16.00 hours.
Closed: 24, 25, 26 December and opening hours or closures may vary on occasion. Check before travelling there.
Admission fees are charged. Under 16s are free.
For information about the museum, air days, educational activities and research visit:
Address: Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR
Telephone: (enquiries) +44 (0)1223 835000
Imperial War Museum London
The Imperial War Museum covers all aspects of warfare in the twentieth century where British and Commonwealth Forces have been engaged.
IWM London is closed for a major redevelopment project. The museum will partially re-open with a new family exhibition Horrible Histories®: Spies. In summer 2014, after a year of continued transformation and development, the museum will fully re-open. While IWM London is closed, IWM’s other London branches, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast, will remain open as normal.
For information visit:
Liddle Collection, Leeds
The Liddle Collection was founded to collect and preserve individual experiences of the First World War. There are letters, diaries, personal papers, photographs, newspapers, artwork and tape-recordings.
The 1914-1918 catalogue can be viewed online.
Visitors who are not a member of the University of Leeds should make an appointment before making a visit to the Liddle Collection.
Opening hours: Contact the Liddle Collection to confirm opening hours.
Address: Special Collections, Leeds University Library, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9JT
Website: (Liddle Collection) www.leeds.ac.uk
Telephone: 0113 34 35518 or 0113 34 36383
Museum of Army Flying
Learn about the pioneers of Army flying and the history of the Royal Flying Corps from 1912 to 31st March 1918, when the the Royal Air Force was formed on 1st April 1918.
Open: Daily 10.00 to 16.00 hours (check before travelling for Christmas & New Year closures)
Admission charges with concessions.
Groups and school groups are welcome. Contact the museum for more details on educational activities available to teachers and students.
For more information about the museum and its collections, research in the archive and library, the Apache Café and the play park, visit the website.
Address: Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Stockbridge, Hampshire SO20 8DY
Telephone: 01264 784421
The National Archives, Kew
Formerly called the Public Record Office, the National Archives hold thousands of records including records of individuals and military units involved in the First World War.
The National Archives has a Documents Online service, which includes access to WW1 War Diaries and individuals' Medal Index Cards.
Open Tuesday and Thursday 10.00 to 19.00; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10.00 to 17.00.
Closed Mondays. For other closure dates during the year visit the website for details.
Address: The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
National Army Museum, London
The National Army Museum is dedicated to the telling history of the British Army, exploring the impact of the Army on the shaping of Britain, Europe and around the world, and remembering those who have given their lives whilst serving in the British Army.
National Maritime Museum, London
Located in a beautiful setting of World Heritage Site status in Greenwich on the River Thames the National Maritime Museum is one of three museum sites (the Royal Observatory, Queen's House and the National Maritime Museum).
Open daily 10.00 to 17.00
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January.
Address: National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Email: See NMM website for relevant email enquiry address.
Telephone: 020 8858 4422
The Royal Air Force Museum, London
The museum as an extensive archive and library reference collection. The museum staff can provide advice for researchers but cannot carry out research on your behalf.
Royal Navy Submarine Museum
See the Royal Navy's first submarine, Holland 1, and explore the story of submarines through the First World War, Second World War to the present day.
Visit and make a guided walk through HMS Alliance, the centrepiece of the museum.
Open: Daily April - October 10.00 to 17.00 hours; November - March open Wed - Sun 10.00 - 16.00 hours, but open daily in Christmas & February half term school holidays.
Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays in winter opening dates outside school holiday times; 24-27 & 31 December, 1-3 January
Groups and school groups are welcome.
For more information about events, touring the museum and its collections visit the website.
Address: The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Haslar Jetty Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 2AS
Telephone: 023 9251 0354
Old Warden Aerodrome is home to the Shuttleworth Collection, a collection of over fifty unique aircraft dating back to the Edwardian era before the First World War.
Most of the vintage aircraft are airworthy and they take part in displays. The aircraft and vehicles are on show in 8 hangars.
Open daily from 9.30 hours. Closing time from mid February: 17.00 hours; winter closing time 16.00 hours.
Admission fees are charged.
There is an archive at Shuttleworth with a large amount of aviation archive material. The archive is manned by volunteers on Tuesdays from 10.00 to 15.30 hours.
For information about the Shuttleworth Collection, the airfield, flying displays & What's On, and much more, visit the website.
Address: Shuttleworth (Old Warden) Aerodrome, Nr. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG18 9EP
Telephone: +44 (0)1767 627 927
The Somme Heritage Centre
The Somme Heritage Centre was opened in 1994. It is a museum with a collection of First and, since 2000, Second World War artefacts. Exhibitions and displays aim to provide a cross-community educational facility to commeorate the part played by almost a quarter of a million Irish men and women in the First World War.
The three volunteer divisions raised during the First World War were in action in some of the bloodiest battles and this museum tells the story of the men in the 10th and 16th (Irish) Divisions and the 36th (Ulster) Division.
Facilities: Guided tours; audio-visual displays; conference facilities; shop.
Open: April-June, September: Monday-Thursday 10.00 - 16.00; Saturday 12.00 - 16.00; July & August: Monday-Friday 10.00 - 17.00; Saturday & Sunday 15.00 - 17.00; October-March: Monday-Thursday 10.00 - 16.00; First Saturday of each month 12.00 - 16.00
Admission charge. Concession and group rates available.
Address: Somme Heritage Centre, 233 Bangor Road, Newtownards, County Down BT23 7PH, Northern Ireland
Telephone: (028) 9182 3202
Fax: (028) 9182 3214
The Tank Museum, Dorset
The Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset, is the home of the tank. This British invention was first introduced as a weapon of war in the First World War.
The museum has many historic and rare tanks on display. There are regular events and displays, archive collections available for research, and facilities as a venue for seminars and functions.
Open daily 10.00 - 17.00
Closed: 24, 25, 26 December, 1 January.
Address: The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG
Telephone: 01929 405096
Military Museums in the UK (Illustrated paperback)
by Colin Sibun
There are over 130 local and national military museums in the United Kingdom. Many of these are able to offer advice on resources for educational requirements. Published by Third Millennium Information (Second edition Mar 2011). 104 pages. ISBN-10: 1906507511, ISBN-13: 978-1906507510
WW1 Museums and Archives
See our listing of World War One related museums and archives on the Western Front and around the world.