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Half Term Medical Mayhem: GUTS, GORE & GANGRENE

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson invites visitors to meet ‘the lady with the lamp’ this October half term for some festering fun and medical mayhem in the Victorian hospital ward this half term.

A costumed character will guide families through the eerie galleries to the Fort’s dimly lit hospital ward where they are invited to step back in time and help one of the garrison soldiers, Tommy Atkins, who is badly wounded and fading fast — will he receive the treatment he needs? To aid Tommy, Ms Nightingale will take visitors through dimly lit rooms to meet the surgeon, Mr Stitch, in the gory Victorian operating theatre. There they will discover how battle wounds were treated on the dirty and chaotic battlefields of the Crimean War and witness the poor sanitation in the hospital. Then Ms Nightingale will guide visitors to the Pharmacy where families can observe Mr Boots, the Pharmacist, make up bubbling potions, pills and frothing poultices. Will the right remedy be picked to aid poor Tommy’s recovery?

To complement the activity there will be spooky themed make-and-take craft activities for children including flying ghosts, spiders, and skeletons.

Costumed character Mr Boots said, “The Fort is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but over Halloween week it is terrifyingly good fun. With creepy corridors, underground chambers and costumed characters, visitors will experience first-hand the medical mayhem available to soldiers during the war. Eye of newt, spawn of frog….what will you witness in the potions class?”

Fort Nelson is a great place to visit any time of the year, but around Halloween this historic Victorian fort, with it underground tunnels and secret chambers, is particularly atmospheric. As well as a whole museum of nation treasures to explore, the 25-pounder is fired daily at 1 pm on the parade. Parking and admission to the museum are free. The museum is open daily 10 am — 5 pm (April — October) and 10 am — 4 pm (November to March).

Guts, Gore and Gangrene

– Sessions: 11 am, 12 noon, 2 pm and 3:30 pm daily
– Price: £3.50 per child (suitable for 5-12 year olds)

Children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the session. Please note there will be medical and wound references tailored to the age of the audience.

Spooky themed Arts and Crafts

– Price: £2.50 per child (suitable for 3-12 year olds)
– Time: 10 am — 4 pm daily (drop in sessions)

Pay on the day or pre-book your tickets in advance from the Visitor Centre or by calling 01329 233 734 (subject to availability).

For more details about the Royal Armouries and the national collection housed at Fort Nelson, visit

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Notes to editors

– Royal Armouries has two other sites at HM Tower of London and in Leeds.
– Fort Nelson in Hampshire houses the national collection of big guns and artillery. It underwent a major refurbishment in 2011, with new galleries and a state-of-the-art education centre. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
– In 2014, it was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor.
– The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business based on the same site in Leeds.
– For further media enquiries and photo opportunities at Fort Nelson, please contact Caroline Chapman (Communications Officer

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.