Imperial War Museum

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Imperial War Museum

Postby plbramham » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:18 pm

Hi, Having visited The Imperial War Museum several times in the past, I found it rather disappointing last week as most of the large exhibits have been removed for a temporary closure, followed by the reorganisation of the museum as a whole over the next ten years with a new atrium and First World War Galleries.
That was understandable, but was inexcusable was the use of two whole floors of their little remaining display space for a Holocaust exhibition which was completely out of proportion for a museum allegedly for British wars from 1914 to present day.
Everyone is sorry for what happened to the Jews, but it seems to me that the current trend (following America’s lead perhaps?) is to give the impression that the entire Second World War was fought solely because of Hitler’s Final Solution.
My main reason for the visit was to see the Ashcroft VC & GC gallery, which is brilliant. Well laid out and informative with just enough description - concise captions without getting bogged down too much with background to the battles/ events in which the actions took place (Let’s face it, you can look them up yourself later if you wish – I hate it when museums seem to feel you have to be spoon- fed with masses of facts)
Having taken far less time than expected to see everything of interest at the IWM, I went to the National Army Museum at Chelsea. I thoroughly recommend a visit to this museum (next to the Royal Hospital, home of the Chelsea pensioners) The NAM seems to be regarded as a poor relation to the IWM - well that is most certainly not the case. Excellent displays, superb layouts, impressive artefacts, and informative descriptions all contributed to a thoroughly enjoyable visit. It’s also great for kids with interactive displays, items they can handle, and uniforms they can try on (Allow at least a day though! – so much to see)
Paul
P.S. Here's a thought- The Imperial Wargraves Commission was renamed The Commonwealth Wargraves Commission at the end of empire, I wonder why the Imperial War Museum retained the title "Imperial"?
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01 london IWM.jpg
The Imperial War Museum, London
1 London IWM planes .jpg
Mustang & FW 190 aircraft at the IWM
1 London IWM VC GC.jpg
The Ashcroft VC & GC gallery
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby kerchi » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:09 pm

plbramham wrote:Having taken far less time than expected to see everything of interest at the IWM, I went to the National Army Museum at Chelsea. I thoroughly recommend a visit to this museum (next to the Royal Hospital, home of the Chelsea pensioners) The NAM seems to be regarded as a poor relation to the IWM - well that is most certainly not the case. Excellent displays, superb layouts, impressive artefacts, and informative descriptions all contributed to a thoroughly enjoyable visit. It’s also great for kids with interactive displays, items they can handle, and uniforms they can try on (Allow at least a day though! – so much to see)


I totally agree with Paul. Ok, it's not as if I make regular visits to either the IWM or NAM but I must admit I was very impressed with the NAM when I last visited (even though that was a while a go now). The IWM always seems to be the bigger, grander and more popular relation but bigger and grander does not always mean better. The information is as you would expect....informative! However, the IWM is not my preferred choice for repeat visits.
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby kerchi » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:09 pm

Love the first photo btw Paul, great shot! ;-)
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby hussar1000 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:28 pm

I enjoyed the Ashcroft Gallery very much but it is a little strange that they have little closed boxes containing some medals and if you don't know they are there then you walk straight past them! Most unusual.
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby kerchi » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:41 am

Has anyone been recently?

I was in London the other week but didn't get time for another visit. I did, however, manage to see the Cabinet War Rooms, which was interesting, especially listening to the commentary on the hand-held audio device. Worth a visit if you're into WW2, Churchill and the Cabinet War Rooms in general.
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby plbramham » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:27 am

Not sure if the IWM has fully reopened yet? - It was having a major refurbishment for the WW1 centenary exhibition last time I was there.
I will repeat what I said in a previous posting. If in London, you must go to the National Army Museum in Chelsea (almost "next door" to the Chelsea pensioners hospital - "hospital" being the old term for a home/refuge/sanctuary - not a medical reference) .
The NAM is a really,really superb museum!
Paul
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby plbramham » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:39 am

War rooms: Please excuse poor quality images - just taken on my cheap pocket compact camera!
Cheers Paul
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war rooms2.jpg
Churchill office "dummy" model
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby kerchi » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:25 pm

plbramham wrote:Not sure if the IWM has fully reopened yet? - It was having a major refurbishment for the WW1 centenary exhibition last time I was there.
I will repeat what I said in a previous posting. If in London, you must go to the National Army Museum in Chelsea (almost "next door" to the Chelsea pensioners hospital - "hospital" being the old term for a home/refuge/sanctuary - not a medical reference) .
The NAM is a really,really superb museum!
Paul

I haven't checked on any progress of the IWM's refurbishment but I am looking forward to my next visit, whenever that will be.

Like yourself Paul, I also think the NAM is a superb museum and I very much enjoyed the time I last perused the exhibitions there, which unfortunately was a few years ago now so I guess I am definitely due for another visit.
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby kerchi » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:32 pm

Regarding your Cabinet War Rooms photos, they look better quality than the ones I took with the Panasonic Lumix. I am currently uploading them to my Mac and I'll add some to the gallery.
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Re: Imperial War Museum

Postby kerchi » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:32 pm

Just uploaded some photos (here) in the gallery of the Cabinet War Rooms.

Some are a little grainy and orange in hue (like this one below) due to the low-level available light and not always using the flash.

Image
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