We Were There is Imperial War Museums’ remarkable programme where visitors can meet real life veterans and eyewitnesses of war. Although it’s not currently possible to meet our We Were There volunteers, you can read their profiles to discover more about the people behind the stories.

All our eyewitnesses and veterans are volunteers, who give their time to share these important stories. They have a wide range of stories - from being evacuated during the Second World War, to living through The Troubles in Northern Ireland, serving in the Royal Navy during the Falklands War and more.

We Were There usually runs at IWM London, IWM North, IWM Duxford and HMS Belfast during school holidays.

  • Alex, a veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Alex, IWM Duxford

    “I was an RAF brat, so I’m obsessed by all types of aircraft.”

  • Bernie, a veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Bernie, HMS Belfast

    “Our mission was to stop fishing trawlers smuggling weapons to Cyprus from Greece and Turkey.”

  • Sarah, participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Sarah, IWM London

    “I share my story and I feel understood."

  • Jill, participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Jill, IWM London

    “At the age of 6 I was evacuated from London to Launceston in Cornwall.”

  • Jay, veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme.
    IWM
    Jay, IWM North

    “I served on the first ship to pull into Kuwait after the hostilities ended,”

  • Mike, a veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Mike, IWM Duxford

    “Explaining aspects of life at sea and the operation of fast jets.”

  • Fred, participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Fred, HMS Belfast

    “…we spent 5 weeks anchored in the Maldives protecting the British Representative from angry locals.”

  • A photograph of Bob, veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme, in Royal Navy uniform
    IWM
    Bob, IWM North

    “I was on board The Blackthorn. We were alongside The Pine when it was torpedoed.”

  • Graham, a veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Graham, IWM London

    “I was a schoolboy during the Second World War, and I helped in small ways to win the war.”

  • Edith, an eyewitness participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    Edith, HMS Belfast

    “…my memories are like snapshots from an old album.”

  • John, a veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme
    IWM
    John, IWM Duxford

    “My father decided that it was too dangerous to stay in our house.”

  • Peter, a veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme of events
    IWM
    Peter, IWM North

    “As Radio Officer, my station had to close completely – under Radio Silence (always the case in a war zone).”

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As a charity, now more than ever IWM needs your support to ensure we can continue to tell personal stories and experiences of conflict for current and future generations to come.

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