Monday, 28 February 2011

The First and Second World War at The IWM

This is the last posting from The Imperial War Museum - you may be glad to hear. The above is the famous Lord Kitchener poster designed by Alfred Leete to persuade young men to enlist. Britain declared War on Germany on 4th August 1914 shortly after the Kaiser's armies crossed into Belgium. By the end of 1915 two and a half million men had enlisted and in 1916 Parliament passed the Military Service Acts which introduced conscription of men aged between 18 and 41.

The way to the "Front Line."

A very telling sign - you cannot but help to be moved by these signs - there is a whole wall of them. So many young men went to their death like lambs to the slaughter.

In the First World War exhibit area there is a walk-through reconstruction of a front line trench on the Somme in the Autumn of 1916 - with special lighting, sound and smell effects. It is a sobering experience.

The conditions were appalling. Living in constant fear of death or serious injury amid the wet and cold, and being crawled over by rats.
This soldier is grateful to have a letter from home.

This photo is very poignant as it shows the men going "over the top". It reminded me of that final scene in Blackadder Goes Forth.

We moved on to the Second World War exhibit area.
The chilling words of Adolf Hitler.

Those immortal words of Winston Churchill - his tribute to the Royal Air Force in the House of Commons on the 20th August, 1940. In July 1940 the Luftwaffe began attacking airfields, ports and aircraft factories in Operation "Sealion." On 17th September Hitler postponed the Operation indefinitely having been defeated in the air and out-gunned at sea.

Our Daughter in an Anderson Shelter.

The War is over - it's time to welcome loved ones home.

It's time for street parties!

We also visited the new exhibition at The Imperial War Museum - Once Upon A Wartime.
It is centred around five childrens books where war is brought dramatically to life:-
War Horse by the wonderful Michael Morpurgo
Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
Little Soldier by Bernard Ashley
It is a very good exhibition and well worth going to.

And finally after many posts we say "Good-bye" to London.

The next posting will be more cheerful as I show you what we got up to at half term.

Until next time.


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