The Imperial War Museum


We’re now at our last step of this British journey. Logically, it ends with my visit at the Imperial War Museum in London. As you may remember, I visited it in 2012 but rthe section about the Great War was closed. The museum was closed for some time and reopened last year, I was anxious to visit it again.

I’ll be honest: this is really a dramatic experience. I’ve visited dozens of war museum in Europe and all of them, even if they often were interesting thanks to the material displayed, were not “moving” ones. On the contrary, a visit to the WW1 gallery at the IWM, even the items displayed remain “classic” ones, are shown in a really impressive way.

One could wonder what is the secret behind such a success. First of all, probably a clever mix between items, graphic elements and pictures, with a wonderful use of lights, as you can see below:

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Then, some carefully items, which are truly striking, wuch as this letter written by a 9-year old Irish boy to Lord Kitchener.

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Or a very modern way to present trench signs:

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Items are exhibited in a way the visitor can move around them and study them from a very short distance, such as these gas masks.

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Last but not least, even if this blog cannot show it, some words about the background noise. During this “journey” in the Great War, one can listen to voices of soldiers, hear the shells exploding or the noise of a munition factory. Such a background noise, mixed with the vision of striking documents and items, almost brings you to tears, an amazing experience.

As a conclusion, here are the words of King George V at the opening of IWM on 9 June 1920.

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