Celebrate the WWI Centenary at the National Portrait Gallery


If you have not been lucky enough to travel across the channel to celebrate the World War I Centenary events, the National Portrait Gallery currently has a fantastic exhibition on.

Featuring portraits, films and photos that depict what life was like during the Great War, this free exhibition looks at individuals involved in the conflict. Visitors can go on a journey, starting in 1914, by having a look at the press photograph of Gavrilo Princip, the 19-year-old who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and indirectly set off the chain of events that led to the start of the war. From here, view the portraits of commanders Foch, Hindenburg and Haig, while pictures of their troops by the likes of Nevinson and Sickert still haunt to this day.

Take a peek at various drawings and pictures depicting the horrific conditions of the war, with major highlights including the Expressionist masterpieces by Kirchner and Beckmann. There are even images of injured soldiers that were donated by the Royal College of Surgeons, while the portraits of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Winston Churchill are sure to interest and delight all ages.

Even though the exhibit is completely free, do note that it may be busy at weekends and you will only have until June 15th to catch it.

Combine a trip to the National Gallery with the, also-free, British Museum so you can have a day in the capital without having to break the bank. Furthermore, taking a trip along the Thames, where you can see major attractions such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, will not cost you a penny. There are also a series of affordable accommodation options in London if you are on a bit of a shoestring budget this summer.