The Remnants of an Army Returns to the Somerset Military Museum

The Remnants of an Army by Lady Elizbeth Butler returned to the Somerset Military Museum this September. The painting belongs to the Tate Gallery and was recalled to Tate Britain in 2015 where it featured in Artist and Empire, a major exhibition of art associated with the British Empire from the 16th century to the present day. The exhibition, including the painting, later travelled to the National Gallery of Singapore.

Remnents of army-sml

Elizabeth Butler (1846-1933) achieved fame for her realistic depictions of war and its consequences. The Remnants of an Army is one of her best-known works.

The painting shows the moment in 1842 when Dr William Brydon arrived outside the fortress town of Jellalabad during the 1st Afghan War. He brought the terrible news that 17,000 British soldiers and camp followers had been massacred. They had been making their way back from Kabul to India. But they were attacked along the route despite a promise of safe passage from Akbar Khan, the Afghan tribal leader.  Dr Brydon was one of very few survivors.

Soldiers of the 13th Light Infantry, the regiment which would later become the Somerset Light Infantry were then besieged in the fortress town of Jellalabad. After five months they broke out and defeated the Afghans in one of the most famous military operations of the Victorian age.

Find Out More

Join Curator of Military History Sam Astill for a Talk and Tea exploring the painting at The Museum of Somerset at 2.30 pm on 10 November (£5.)

Dino Day Sunday 22nd October

Dino Day 2017[4] Join us for some Dino fun on Sunday 22nd October.  This has become one of our favourite events, with lots of fun for all dino lovers.

You can enjoy crafts and activities, dress up and even disco dance with a dinosaur!

The whole museum will be open with a chance to meet our expert and enjoy our cuddly dino trail.

The museum is open from 10am until 5pm, and the cost which includes all the activities is £3 per person (age 3+) or £10 for a family.  There is no need to book – just turn up.