IWM Blog

  • The D-Day Wall in Western Esplanade, Southampton
    Blog: 1940s

    D-Day Stories from Southampton’s Walls: Recording heritage and disseminating untold soldier stories

    A 19-metre-long section of brick wall near the waterfront in Southampton, known as ‘The D-Day Wall’ still bears the graffiti left by US troops, 76 years ago. During the Second World War, more than 3.5 million men passed through the city. 
  • Blog: First World War

    Mapping the Centenary – An Academic’s Perspective

    As a historian interested in responses to the First World War, digital collections, and public history, the ‘Mapping the Centenary’ website is a boon for future research. The presented site information provides a helpful overview of the types of centenary project that were popular, assisting in quantitative studies of the nature of First World War commemoration in the UK. As a cultural historian, attempting to work out the ‘pulse’ of national commemorations - as well as their regional differences - is usually a daunting task, but this has now been made easier with the resources available on this digital portal.
  • Karlsruhe Main Cemetery, Memorial for German and Foreign Victims of Air-Raid Bombing in World War II by August Meyerhuber 1954
    Blog: 1940s

    One Story, Different Voices - the bombing of Karlsruhe

    In February 1942 Arthur Harris was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command. His task was to expedite what was already the official strategy of the Air Ministry, that of dislocating the German transport system and destroying the morale of the civilian population, particularly in industrial areas. The Butt report (August 1941) found that only one in three attacking bombers at that stage of the war got within five miles of their target - this meant that targets would have to be large cities and industrial complexes rather than precise targets.
  • Remains of flak bunker in the Hardtwald Forest around Karlsruhe
    copyright Katherine Quinlan-Flatter
    Blog: 1940s

    One Story, Different Voices - the bombing of Karlsruhe

    After August 25, 1940, when the British Royal Air Force dropped the first bombs on Berlin, the “Immediate Air Raid Protection Programme” was implemented. The program stated that all German cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants and sites of strategic importance should be equipped with sufficient air-raid bunkers for the population.
  • A finished mock-up after the objects have been removed and safely packed away in their boxes by the Project Delivery Team. The content has been censored to keep it a secret until the galleries are opened! (Copyright IWM).
    Copyright IWM
    Blog: Exhibitions

    Exhibition mock-ups: a Conservator's role

    Have you ever visited a museum gallery or art exhibition and wondered how it all came together? Do you walk around thinking about object mounting, text styles and the location of caption panels? Are you looking out for the environmental monitors, spotting colour themes and considering how an object that big got into that space? If it’s a no, good job, you probably aren’t a museum professional and will enjoy the exhibition far more as a result!
  • Senior Aircraftwoman (SACW) Carol Oldridge, who joined RAF Patrington in 1968. Served at the Holmpton bunker as Air Defence Operator until 1974. © Lee Karen Stow
    © Lee Karen Stow
    Blog: Cold War

    Hidden: Cold War Women

    A chance descent into a 1950’s Cold War Bunker on the North Sea Coast, one of few remaining intact in the UK, led to a two-year project that involved me frequently going underground to interview and photograph civilians, volunteers and servicewomen who had served their country in a climate of fear, propaganda and a looming Russia.
  • Patrick Eakin Young Image 1
    Blog: Museum

    Part Two: Challenging Histories in Cultural Spaces

    The SWWHPP is a three year, national initiative led by IWM supporting partners in the cultural heritage and academic sectors to engage with new audiences as they reflect on these significant histories and explore their lasting impacts on our lives, in digital form and public events. The SWWHPP is generously supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
  • Truposznica displayed in the Muzeum Etnograficzne Kraków
    Blog: Museum

    Part One: Challenging Histories in Cultural Spaces

    The SWWHPP is a three year, national initiative led by IWM supporting partners in the cultural heritage and academic sectors to engage with new audiences as they reflect on these significant histories and explore their lasting impacts on our lives, in digital form and public events. The SWWHPP is generously supported by the National Lottery Heritage
  • Blog: First World War

    Remembering a First World War Nurse

    This month marks the 105th anniversary of the tragic and untimely death of Nurse Caroline Maud Edwards during the First World War. Caroline was born in Llanharry in 1887 to a family with strong connections to Newport and the County of Monmouth. In fact, by 1901 she was living with her parents and siblings in Rockfield and attended Haberdashers Monmouth School for Girls. She went to Bedford College, London and became a nurse in The London Hospital in Whitechapel by 1911.
  • Amy Johnson published by The Lawrence Wright Music Co, after Vaughan & Freeman halftone reproduction, published 1930.
    © National Portrait Gallery, London NPG D46663
    Blog: 1940s

    My connections to Amy Johnson, pioneering pilot

    Born in Hull in 1903, Amy was a pioneering pilot who set many long distance flight records in the 1930s. During the Second World War she joined the newly formed Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which transported Royal Air Force aircraft around the country.
  • The Camborne Youth Band in 2018 play the Last Post, featuring a one-hundred-year old bugle, in Sailly-sur-La-Lys, France.
    Blog: First World War

    Mapping the Centenary – Project Case Studies (Part Five)

    Our fifth Case Study within this round of projects is ‘Battlebags and Blimps’, a community engagement project delivered by a range of partner organisations including Carrickfergus Museum and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council in Northern Ireland.
  • From the cockpit of a Heinkel He 111. Image from Der Führer, 9/1/1941
    Blog: Second World War

    German War Reporters and the London Blitz

    During the Second World War, the German Propagandakompanie (Propaganda Troops) was a branch of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS. Its function was to produce and disseminate propaganda material, both for the fighting troops and the civilian population. These companies were the only news-reporting units in areas of military operation, as civilian news correspondents were not permitted to enter combat zones. They functioned both as soldiers and as reporters, writing from the front for the radio and newspapers. In the Luftwaffe, the PK reporters often flew together with the crew on missions and air raids.