Outbreak 1914: Royal Fusiliers go to War




August has arrived, the exhibition has been installed and we are officially up and running.

We are so please to have had the opportunity to team up with the National Army Museum to bring you this fascinating exhibition introducing the why and wherefores of the outbreak of war in 1914. The exhibition will be up in the Officers’ Mess at the Tower of London from 1st – 31st August and again during October half term.

This special exhibition commemorates the Royal Fusiliers’ role during the Great War using photos and stories to bring the regiment’s unique war experience to life. The exhibition explores the early experiences of the regiment in the Great War, from recruitment techniques used in the London area to the heroic efforts of the regiment’s soldiers in action once they arrived at the front. Highlights of the exhibition include a look at the ‘Pals Battalion’ recruitment drive, which greatly expanded the Royal Fusiliers. Displays show local images of friends who joined such Battalions to go and fight together, including the Public Schools Battalion.

Royal Fusiliers Go to War also marks the great bravery of the men in the regiment, including two who received the first Victoria Crosses awarded during the war. The Regiment saw some of the heaviest fighting of the Battle of Mons (23rd Aug 1914), and Lieutenant Maurice Dease and Private Sidney Godley won VCs for their actions here - Dease posthumously. The Fusilier Museum London displays Dease’s medal as part of its permanent collection, but visitors to the Royal Fusiliers Go to War exhibition will be able to see Godley’s original citation for his Victoria Cross.

There are also a number of events running in conjunction with the exhibition:

4th August 2014:

Exhibition Opening – FREE

(no entry ticket required for Tower of London)


6.30pm The Fusilier Museum London, Tower of London, EC3N 4AB

To book contact the museum on 02031666912 /

Talk – The Retreat from Mons. By, Nigel William of the Metropolitan Police

Nigel Williams along with 25 colleagues will be marching the retreat from Mons in September this year. The team will be undertaking the march of around 200 miles, in only seven days, wearing original First World War uniform, carrying full kit and First World War rifles. Nigel will be talking about the challenges his team have faced training for the march, finding the original kit and getting the permission to march through Belgium and France carrying WWI rifles! Nigel will also talk about the battle which inspired him to undertake this challenge, the battle in which the 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers distinguished themselves being awarded the first two Victoria Crosses of the First World War.

The team are marching to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes.

There will be an opportunity to view the exhibition with a glass of wine before the talk which will commence at 7pm


21st August 2014:

Event, We Will Remember Them - Tickets £10 

(no entry ticket required for Tower of London)


6.30pm The Fusilier Museum London, Tower of London, EC3N 4AB

Bar in the Officers’ Mess / Doors will close at 9.30pm

To book contact the museum on 02031666912 /

An event to commemorate the awarding of the first 2 Victoria Crosses of the First World war 100 years on, to see the exhibition Outbreak 1914, to have a wander round The Fusilier Museum and attend one of the drop in talks.

Drop in talks will be given by:

Nigel Williams from the Met Police  - as above

David Carter author of The Stockbrokers’ Battalion in The Great War - will be talking about the quest he set out upon to research a family member and which ended up with him writing a book! He will talk about the raising of the first pals battalion, the stories of some of the men featured in his book and the link of the 10th Stockbrokers Battalion to the Tower of London.

Kathleen Sherit, volunteer at The Fusilier Museum London – will be talking about Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, Sgt William Osborne, who served with the 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. Kathleen trnascribed has trnascribed the diary of Sgt Osborne and researched his experiences of 1914. In her talk Kathleen will share what she has discovered about one soldier’s experiences. This research has led to the production of a pamphlet looking at what the outbreak of the war in 1914 and what this meant for the Royal Fusiliers which will be available at the event.

We hope you enjoy the exhibition and look forward to welcoming you to one the events.