All hands on deck for an evening of immersive activities to discover life on board, as the National Maritime Museum marks the opening of Re•Think Navy and Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle on Thursday 16 June.

Taking place throughout the Museum, get your daily ration of rum courtesy of Pusser’s Rum. Enjoy a sip of genuine liquid history as you learn how you’ve become part of one of the greatest traditions of the Royal Navy.

After the toasts of ‘The Queen, God Bless Her’ and ‘Up Spirits’, find your sea legs on the Great Map with DJ Nocturne. Don’t forget to write home before signing up to the Museum Navy, and make sure your regalia is ship shape with a uniform-making workshop.

Watch the ‘Curators on the Gangplank’ as they attempt to beat the clock on a variety of subjects, from women and the navy to First World War propaganda, and how nautical style has transcended the navy. Though it’s not all plain sailing, explore the themes of welfare at sea through collections and activities in Re•Think Navy.

Hear from Royal Museums Greenwich’s current artist in residence, Paddy Hartley, who will be talking through his work in progress, created in response to one sailor’s remarkable story of survival after severe burns changed his life forever, but paved the way for modern plastic surgery.

Finally, visit the Museum’s exhibition to mark the centenary of the largest naval battle of the First World War, Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle. Taking you through the lead-up to and the events of the battle, the exhibition also uncovers stories of the aftermath: from the incredibly personal and poignant accounts of the sailors and their families, to the juxtaposing views of the nations and navies on both sides of the dramatic conflict.

Event Programme

Curators on the Gangplank

Time is of the essence, but never more so than in these timed presentations. Curators are challenged to present their obsessions in less than seven minutes. Can they beat the clock at 20 seconds a slide? Or will they be forced to walk the plank?

  • James Fleming, The National Archives | Searching for Sailors: Top Tips for finding Naval Ancestors at The National Archives.
  • Louise Bell, The National Archives | Domestic Duties Only – Women And The Navy In The First World War.
  • Prof Jo Fox, University of Durham | 'A conflict of cultures and nothing else in the world'? Propaganda and the Great War.
  • Amber Butchart, Author of Nautical Chic | Nautical Chic: how the sea has inspired style.
  • Ngaire Bushell, Imperial War Museum | Take one pig’s head: Feeding the Jolly Jack Tar.

Up Spirits! Rum Bar Courtesy of Pusser’s Rum

Calling all sailors to report to the Great Map and receive your daily tot! Join Rum expert Peter Thornton for a tasting of world-class, award-winning Pusser’s Rum, and a special talk on the history and tradition of the rum ration in the Royal Navy.

Find Your Sea Legs!

Set a course for adventure and danger as you embark on a perilous career as a sailor! Create your own sailor hat and collar, then accessorise them depending on your status, travels and high seas adventures!

Re•Think Navy

From daily life to life changing injuries, explore the themes of welfare at sea through collections, activities and artistic interventions in our flagship interactive exhibition.

Artist in Residence

William Vicarage was a little known sailor whose life story was one of survival against incredible odds. Severely burned in the Battle of Jutland, this Swansea watchmaker’s life-changing facial injuries changed the direction of modern day plastic surgery.

Artist Paddy Hartley talks through this incredible human story and the artwork he is creating in response. Learn about Paddy’s work as artist in residence at the Museum, and play a part in his art-making process.

Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle

On 31 May 1916, the British Royal Navy and Imperial German Navy clashed in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark. The battle was more than just a contest between two state-of-the-art military systems, but an intensely powerful experience for the thousands of men involved. Discover the stories of the men who fought and their families in our brand new exhibition.

Find out more about A Sailor's Life for Me: Late

General Information

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Queen’s House and Cutty Sark operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich. 

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Cutty Sark are open daily 10.00-17.00 (last admission 16.30). Cutty Sark’s opening times may be subject to change, please see website for details. General admission to National Maritime Museum is free.

All events included here are free of charge to all visitors unless stated. Admission prices for the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark, as well as Museum special exhibitions can be found online.

The Museum is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

For further information or images please contact: Emma Gough, Assistant Press Officer, Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office | Tel: 020 8312 6789/6545 | 07960 509 802 | Email: egough@rmg.co.uk