A tableau depicting a scene from the Battle of Rorke's Drift.

Indian Mutiny to Boxer Rebellion

Throughout the gallery cased object displays and graphic text and images cover topics designed to illustrate the geographical range as well as the history of the colonial wars, and include the Indian Mutiny in the 1850s, the Zulu War and the later 19th century wars in Africa, ending the displays with a section on the Boxer Rebellion in China, as the British Empire came increasingly under threat.

Visitors can see objects from the Indian Mutiny period such as a British 1853 pattern cavalry sword, Lovell’s pattern percussion pistol, and a percussion six shot revolver,made in London about 1855.

There are also Indian objects too such as a nag p‘hani dhal (shield) from Indore, a gorz (mace) from Satara and a toradar (matchlock musket) from Oudh.

From the Zulu and later African wars there are assegai, an British infantry officer’s 1822/45 pattern sword, a 1899 pattern cavalry trooper’s sword, as well as a Mauser 10 shot Mod 96 centrefire pistol, a Sudanese helmet and various swords and spears from Abyssinia, Eritrea and Hadendoa.

The display on the Boxer Rebellion shows an English bolt-action magazine military rifle as well as a Chinese dao (glaive), a trident, a Chinese banner and an early 19th century Chinese matchlock musket.