IWM is a global authority on conflict and its impact on people’s lives. Our world-leading collection and historically important sites help us tell extraordinary human stories in the most powerful way possible.

IWM is a charity. We are partly funded by the government but rely on the support of our members, volunteers and donors, as well as income from retail and other commercial activities to carry on our work.  

Discover how you can support IWM and help us continue to tell the stories that deserve to be heard.

Get involved

The Prince of Wales meets HMS Belfast veterans Ted Cordery and John Harrison and Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller.

Leave a Legacy

By remembering IWM in your will, you are ensuring that personal experiences of conflict live on and remain relevant and accessible for future generations.

A Balloon Site, Coventry
© IWM (ART LD 2750)

Donate Now

Make a donation to IWM and help us to tell the stories of those affected by conflict, launch our ground-breaking exhibitions and deliver our world-class learning programmes. 

Volunteer Nikki in action

Volunteer with IWM

At IWM we are extremely proud to be a volunteer involving organisation with over 1000 volunteers across our five sites. Our volunteers help bring to life the stories of our collections, care for our many significant objects and promote great customer experiences.

Hand drawn artist's impression of the Weston Play Zone. It contains drawing of children climbing on cargo nets, walking along trails, families laying on blankets on the grass and crowds enjoying the new play area site.
© Richard Carmen

The Weston Play Zone: Help us fill the gap!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation, work has started on the Weston Play Zone at IWM Duxford. We now need your help to raise the additional funds needed to complete it. 

Become an IWM Member

IWM Membership

Help tell the stories that deserve to be heard by supporting us as a member. Uncover a host of benefits including free standard admission to Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford.

Patrons and Partnerships

© IWM (PL 10348D)

Trusts and Foundations

IWM is very grateful to the many trusts and foundations which fund a diverse range of our projects.

overheard photograph of IWM London Atrium for Corporate Event
IWM, Atrium IWM London

Corporate Support

We offer unique corporate sponsorship opportunities for all major exhibitions, spectacular gallery spaces and educational programmes across all five of our branches. 

© IWM London

Become a Patron

Patrons play an invaluable role in helping IWM to pursue its vision. For their generosity, IWM is pleased to invite patrons to a programme of exclusive events. 

Shop with IWM

Homeware products from the Imperial War Museums shops including a mug that reads While There's Tea There Is Hope

The IWM shop stocks a wide range of books, clothing and unique gifts.  

Every purchase helps their stories to be retold.

Shop online

Stories that deserve to be heard

[Morse code tapping out "My name is Bernie Bristol"]

The thing is about communicators when you walk along a street, you can even see a car coming and you'll read the number plate and you'll go to 'do da do do', it's automatic. You get bit bored when you're retired like, you know. What is it television, you sit down, you do a bit of gardening, and you do a bit of this and that and shopping. But as I come on board you get that feeling, it's a smell of the ship, it's beautiful it brings back the old memories. 

My name is Bernie Bristol and I was a leading Radio Operator on this ship. I have been coming every Friday for the last year and a half, because I've enjoyed it so much myself. You know doing what I used to do. I teach the children the basic Morse code.

Your name's Robbie!

The Morse is there but to actually do it with the public is like being back in Navy again.

I've had cards from schools to say thank you. I've had children make up Christmas cards with HMS Belfast saying how great the Morse code was. They think all this was all gone now, but it hasn't gone for the old sparkers like myself.

If they take HMS Belfast they won't get rid of me. They can get rid of me, but I'll still be here teaching I love it! Just seeing them go away happy, that's what it's all about.

IWM Volunteer Bernie served on HMS Belfast as a Radio Operator and now regularly volunteers on board, bringing the history of the ship alive by sharing his stories with visitors.

Volunteers like Bernie make an essential contribution to IWM's work – and your support helps ensure we can continue to tell these important stories for generations to come.

Find out more

Three Auxiliary Territorial Service plotters at a plotting table, Headquarters of 428 Battery, Coast Defence Artillery
© IWM TR 572

About IWM

Discover how IWM was founded and find out more about each of the five museums. 

Exterior view of the Imperial War Museum in its new quarters at Lambeth Road, London, 1937
© IWM (Q 61181)

History of IWM

IWM was founded on 5 March 1917 when the War Cabinet approved a proposal by Sir Alfred Mond MP for the creation of a national war museum to record the events still taking place during the Great War. 

Imperial War Museum exhibit at Crystal Palace
© IWM (Q 17031)

IWM Governance

IWM was founded on 5 March 1917 when the War Cabinet approved a proposal by Sir Alfred Mond MP for the creation of a national war museum to record the events still taking place during the First World War. The intention was to collect and display material as a record of everyone’s experiences during that war – civilian and military – and to commemorate the sacrifices of all sections of society.