Shortly after the breakout of the First World War in 1914, the Red Cross opened up a vast number of Voluntary Aid hospitals to address the urgent need for treating wounded soldiers. Many of these hospitals were housed in large private homes in Gloucestershire and run by volunteers. This included the New Court Hospital in Cheltenham, now a conference venue known as Maxima Forum, and the home of the World War One Museum, where visitors can experience what life on the front line.
The museum is run by experienced teacher and history enthusiast, Melissa Webb, who is able to guide visitors around the museum and provide detailed information about the various artefacts. Visitors can learn about how the Kitchener’s Army came into being, read stories from the front line, and see items once owned and used by World War One soldiers.
In recognition of the building’s history as a Voluntary Aid Hospital, much of the museum is devoted to information and items relating to the medical treatment soldiers received.
There are no facilities for refreshments on-site at the museum; however, there are a number of restaurants, cafés and bars within walking distance. Just a short walk from the museum is the Lansdown Café Bar and Pizzeria, a modern and vibrant bar serving oven-baked pizzas. And, the Montpellier District with boutique and fashionable eateries is approximately half a mile away.
The museum is on the A40 Lansdown Road, which is linked to Junction 11 of the M5 via the A40 Gloucester Road.
A number of buses operate along Lansdown Road, including services from the Arle Court Park and Ride that is situated just off junction 11 of the M5.
Cheltenham Spa Rail Station is less than a mile away and has regular services to local and national destinations.
Opening Times and Cost
The World War One Museum is open Monday to Friday from 2pm until 5pm and Saturday 9am until 5pm. The museum is closed on Sundays.
Entrance to the museum costs £3.50 for adults and £2.00 for children.