A Woman’s Place – At The Royal Artillery Museum

They say a woman’s place is in the home, and yet women have found their way as far from home as possible, serving on the front line as part of the armed forces. From the 19th of February through until the 13th April 2013 the Berkeley Gallery at The Royal Artillery Museum is showcasing the role of women in the armed forces. The exhibition dates right back to World War II and continues forward through time to the present day and the war in Afghanistan. There are some incredible photos on display as well as original authentic artefacts from the Arsenal’s own collections. Alison Baskerville is the photographer behind the stunning images of women on the front line in 2012, taken as she shadowed them whilst out on patrol. No stranger to the world of the armed forces herself, she spent twelve years serving as a member of the Royal Air Force.

Photo by David Holt London
Photo by David Holt London

About the Exhibition

Until the 20th Century the idea of women fighting alongside the men on the front line was unthinkable. This incredible exhibition offers us an insight into how women have been serving their country since the acceptance of their roles in 1939. Artefacts from the museum’s archives as well as modern day exhibits will be on display along with the backdrop of some incredible, award winning photographic images taken in modern day Afghanistan. Almost 10% of our modern armed forces is female, all of whom have the opportunity to see action on the front line, this exhibition shows us what we never get to see, the unreported lives of our soldiers out on the front line, or from the past the unseen world of the first enlisted women, playing their part on the home front. This exhibition has an incredible visual impact on the viewer and draws you into aspects of their lives that you may never have considered before. You experience prompts you to ask yourself about your attitude to women in the armed forces and what you think the future may bring.

About The Location

The Royal Arsenal was probably one of the best kept secrets in London, a major player in the manufacture of munitions the world over, and yet until fairly recently had been kept a secret from the general population. The Royal Artillery Museum is a museum within a museum itself, dating as it does back to 1716. It is famous for being the oldest museum of its kind in the world and has been open to the public since 1820. The exhibits on display in the museum chart the way that warfare and weaponry have changed over the centuries, but more than that it takes a close look at how war affects people. From experiencing a simulation of the London Blitz to listening to the diaries of front line soldiers, you can really get a feel of what life has been like for generations past, and for our soldiers on the front line in the conflicts of today.

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