Charge! The Story of England's Northern Cavalry

Explore the history of England's Northern Cavalry

Opens Saturday 21 October 2017

A new gallery which brings the 300 year history of England's Northern Cavalry regiments to life, through previously unseen military objects, historical artefacts and hands-on activities and displays. 

Charge! The Story of England's Northern Cavalry unites the collections of the antecedent regiments of The Light Dragoons and also tells the continuing story of the Northumberland Hussars since becoming the Command & Support squadron of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry. Both regiments, which are formally affiliated to each other, are the only cavalry divisions today which exclusively recruit from the North of England.

The exhibition charts the pivotal moments in the colourful history of these regiments, from the capture of Napoleon’s carriage at the Battle of Waterloo (1815) to more recent reconnaissance missions in Bosnia (1993), Iraq (2004) and Afghanistan (2009), and honours the vital roles played by those born and bred in the north of England.

Experience the journey many soldiers would have taken, from recruitment and training to front-line duties, and discover original historic accounts based on material from the collection. Using objects and artefacts from the regimental collections, the displays will showcase a selection of previously unseen military objects and historical artefacts, including a shako (helmet) worn at the Charge of the Light Brigade (1854), emergency provisions from the Boer War (1899 - 1902) and a suitcase used for carrying maps at the D-Day landings (1944).

Discovery Museum’s ever popular full size war-horse sculpture will be displayed in full ceremonial uniform and other highlights include a film installation of mounted hussars thundering towards you with swords raised in a cloud of smoke, as though on a 19th century battlefield and a digital Drill Sergeant barking orders at any willing new recruits.

The gallery has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who provided a grant of £422,600 towards the redevelopment and an associated programme of activities and events.

The 13th18th Hussars – The Charge of the Light Brigade by Peter Archer, 1980 detail
The 13th18th Hussars – The Charge of the Light Brigade by Peter Archer, 1980 detail