Every year, Remembrance Sunday provides the opportunity to reflect on those who lost their lives in battle, but throughout the year London is full of places to learn about wars past and present.
Several museums in London provide insight into how war affects the lives of people all over the world, from those involved in active conflict to civilians whose consequences of war affect their family lives.
During the centenary week of what was to be the War to End All Wars, these are the places in London you should go to to learn more about World War I and WWII, and more. other conflicts before and since.
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum was installed in a former military hospital after the end of World War I in order to promote the world peace it was hoped to follow. Over the next century, the museum became an institution dedicated to chronicling the development of conflicts since that time. The atrium space houses extraordinary objects, from a four-story German V2 bomb to a burnt-out Baghdad car. The Holocaust exhibit is painful to visit but sensitively reflects the gravity of what happened.
Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ. Admission is free (with paid exhibitions); iwm.org.uk
National Army Museum
The National Army Museum places the British Army at the center of its research and exhibits, examining the changing roles of different armed regiments throughout history, as well as the impact of British conflicts around the world. The museum explores ideas on why we have an army, as well as the effect of war on British society and the changing nature of battle.
Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT. Admission is free (with paid events); nam.ac.uk
This museum was as close to the war as it gets. During World War II, HMS Belfast traveled the world, engaging in active conflict and supporting Allied forces across the globe. It is now a museum and monument of London, moored on the Thames not far from Tower Bridge. On board the ship’s nine decks, you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of those who lived on board throughout her service, learn about the cannons that fired some of the first shots on D-Day, and head 15 meters away below sea level to take a look at the engine room.
The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2JH. Tickets start at £ 15.30, with discounts available; iwm.org.uk
Churchill War Rooms
This museum highlights the war roles of one of the 20th century’s most famous Britons, Winston Churchill. Head under the government offices in Whitehall and you will find the Churchill War Rooms, the underground bunker where Churchill assembled his fellow ministers to strategize the military effort against Nazi Germany. The site, which is under the Treasury, is made up of a museum dedicated to Churchill’s life and the perfectly preserved Cabinet War Rooms, which remain exactly the same as when they were abandoned in 1945.
Clive Steps, King Charles Street, SW1A 2AQ. Tickets start at £ 18.90, with discounts available; iwm.org.uk
Royal Air Force Museum London
From Spitfires to Lancasters, Hawker Hurricanes to Typhoons, this museum is sure to give you wings. The Royal Air Force Museum in London is housed inside five huge hangars in Hendon, filled with dozens of planes throughout the RAF’s 100-year history. As well as marveling at these groundbreaking pieces of engineering, you can get up close and personal with them as well, with the option to sit in the cockpit seat of the famous MK16 Spitfire and flight simulators to test your mettle when the going goes. sharply.
Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL. Admission is free (with paid experiences); rafmuseum.org.uk
National Maritime Museum
If you’d rather be at sea rather than in the air, the National Maritime Museum is the place to be. This Greenwich museum is dedicated to telling the stories of Britain’s maritime escapades in times of war and peace. Explorations here begin in the Tudor era, before embarking with Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar and ending in the midst of the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the largest naval battle of WWI. The museum recently opened four new immersive galleries that cover themes such as Pacific travel and polar travel.
Park Row, SE10 9NF. Admission is free (with paid exhibitions); rmg.co.uk