Find out about the chimp who went to war

Josephine the expedition chimp breakfasting with an officer

Josephine the expedition chimp breakfasting with an officer

Discover the extraordinary story of eccentric First World War Commander Geoffrey Spicer-Simson at a free, creative event for families at The National Archives on Saturday 3 October 2015.

Come to The Chimp Who Went to War to find out about Spicer-Simson, who in 1915 led a 400 mile expedition, taking two gunboats (named Mimi and Toutou) to seize control of a lake occupied by the German Navy – all accompanied by an intrepid chimp companion, Josephine.

With the help of a professional storyteller and The National Archives’ staff, families can explore this epic story as well as see original photos and documents in the Keeper’s Gallery.

Children can also get involved in creative activities with a community artist, including:

  • making a giant map of the route Mimi and Toutou took
  • creating sculptures of Josephine, the expedition chimp, and other animals the crew would have seen on their journey
  • making and decorating paper boats based on Mimi and Toutou to float on The National Archives’ pond

Craft activities suitable for children aged 5-11.

Find out more or book your place.

Tags: events, first world war