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Mutiny in the Museum

10 December 2019

Historians in Years 10 and 11 have marched on the National Army Museum, to learn more about British colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent.

Westminster City School pupils took part in an exciting workshop at the National Army Museum, which museum staff carefully created for the visit. Looking at an incident in 1857, often called the Indian Mutiny, our pupils heard more about the background to an event when Indian soldiers, joined by native rulers and ordinary people, rose up against their British commanders.

Following this informative lecture, our pupils were split into three groups. Each group was tasked to take evidence from this time period, using the available documents and artefacts to decide what the conflict should be called.

Ms Slater, Head of our History Department, explains: “In Britain today, this event in 1857 is called the Indian Mutiny but many Indian nationals refer to it as the Indian War of Independence. Our pupils were asked to decide whether the conflict was a mutiny, a rebellion or a war of independence. As you can see from the photos, our pupils decided on three very different names, based on the contrasting evidence they were given in their groups.”

In addition, our pupils went on a short tour of the National Army Museum’s battle gallery, where they got to climb in and out of tanks, aim rifles used in the Crimean War, and listen to patriotic war songs.

The National Army Museum, in Chelsea, is a leading authority on the British Army and its impact on society past and present. Exhibitions examine the Army's role from the British Civil Wars to the modern day.

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