Medal awarded to survivors of The Chew House defense, Germantown
WWI recruiting poster, 1915
Christmas Cards, 1885
Hindustani Musket Cavalry
Guardsman Higgins, 1830
Madras Army, 1835
Recruiting poster for Sussex Light Dragoons, 1780
Coffee Cup, 2012
15th Light Dragoons, 1780
Soldier of the Queen, 1960
Museum Tie from early '90s - No longer available
I've had a love affair with London since my job sent me there 23 years ago. Over time, I learned to beat jet lag, find dress socks that'll last 15 years and follow Benedict Arnold's funeral procession to a Pet Shop Boy's song. You might be thinking one of three ain't bad. I also discovered out of the way restaurants, hotels, museums and created my own walking tours while accumulating some of the best god damned memories ever.
London can be a stay at the Westin, a visit to the Tower and a bite at McDonald's but who would want to. How the hell do you connect with any city by staying in a Westin? I guess I'm a contrarian and love going down empty roads. Partly because, "Hell is other people" and mostly because I love to explore.
The National Army Museum is located in Chelsea and while the V&A draws the crowds, the Army Museum will assure you of loads of room, free admission and unique displays. My personal favorites are Sir Henry Clinton's red coat and the skeleton of Napoleon's horse, Marengo. There's an amazing collection of military art and most of it is tastefully reproduced for the museum's gift shop.
A four minute walk west of the museum is the restaurant, Foxtrot Oscar. I discovered FO before it was purchased by Gordon Ramsey and long before some of the food preparation was done off site. Still, it's a great bargain for a lunch of crab cakes and a Bloody not to mention a connection of sorts to the meaning of Foxtrot Oscar in the military.
Someone who had a 'Foxtrot Oscar' personality was Benedict Arnold and unknown to many is his final resting place at St Mary's church on the south bank of the Thames -- a short walk from Foxtrot Oscar. Walk west on Royal Hospital Road. Follow it until it turns into Chelsea Embankment and Cheyne Walk. Turn left on Battersea Bridge and it's here I que the Pet Shop Boys, Survivors...
Cross the windy bridge and turn right on Battersea Church Road. Follow it along the Thames for about a quarter mile until you see St Mary's Church on your right. Arnold's wife, Peggy Shippen buried Arnold here in 1801. Years later, many of the bodies in the cemetery were exhumed, Arnold among them, and were 'consolidated' without markers. However, there is a crypt in the basement of St Mary's and the church claims it holds the remains of Arnold, Peggy and their daughter.
I don't really care so much where Arnold is buried. What amazes me is the black hearse and horses I see crossing Battersea Bridge in 1801 and bringing Arnold to this place. A long way from where he was from and even further from what he was. Like I said, you're not gonna run into a lot of people out here.