Let’s Learn : 2014 Centenary : IWM Re-opens 19 July

This year is the Centenary of the First World War. From 2014 to 2018, world wide people and organisations will commemorate and remember the lives of those who lived, fought and died in the First World War. Led by the  IWM (Imperial War Museums) most of which you can read about here, you can find out how they are leading the First World War Centenary Partnership, through a network of local, regional, national and international cultural and educational organisations. Here is a small offering of a some events that I think are worth a visit, there will be many many more nation-wide, so please do leave me a comment with info on anything related as you know how we love to share.

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1. Events : The Imperial War Museum The IWM is about to complete it’s massive transformation building project, and will reopen on 19 July. This will mark the start of the Centenary of the First World War. The newly designed IWM London will reopen with ground-breaking new First World War Galleries, a dramatic new atrium displaying their iconic large objects and terraces featuring key stories from their collections. See here to book ahead for inspirational First World War talks and events, we fancy Kate Adie on the Legacy of Women in the First World War (Tuesday 16 Sept at 7pm, £12), and Why soldiers fight: from the First World War to Afghanistan (Wed 19 November 2014, £12)

2. Talks : Maritime Lecture Series: War and Memory ( National Maritime Museum) To celebrate Rozanne Hawksley’s War and Memory installation and mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, the NMM popular regular lecture series focuses on the Great War and its commemoration, as well as some of the themes. 1 May–5 June (Thursdays) : National Maritime Museum Ground floor Lecture Theatre : 11.00–13.00 : £8 per lecture | £6: Members* and concessions | £48 / £36 for lecture series

3. Exhibition : War Artists at Sea (The Queens House) Showcasing the very best of Royal Museums Greenwich’s collection of First and Second World War art, this new display includes visually arresting and moving portraits, battle scenes, and depictions of everyday life during conflict. Charged with the task of revealing a ‘truth’ that went beyond the simple recording of events, official war art served the purposes of commemoration, instruction, documentation and propaganda as well as raising morale at home and at the front. Open until February 2015 : The Queen’s House : 10.00-17.00 : Adults Family (over-5s) Young people : Free


4. Exhibition : From Street to Trench: A World War that Shaped a Region (IWM North) Marking the 100 year commemoration IWM have gathered together over 200 objects, films, sound recordings, photographs, artworks and letters. The displays include items from IWM’s unrivalled national collections and from personal public donated items, many of which have never been on public display before. Discover stories of remarkable individuals – from Clement Attlee, who went on to become Prime Minister, poet Wilfred Owen and celebrity musician Vesta Tilley, to previously unknown Tommies, medics and civilians. As the North West was a major focus for recruitment, many left the region for the first time to serve across the globe. The exhibition features previously unpublished stories of soldiers, sailors and pilots who fought in all major campaigns, from Gallipoli in Turkey to the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium.

5. Online Exhibition : WAAC’s At War : National Army Museum As the museum is closed for a re-furb until 2016 (“oh no…” I hear the kids cry, “…the best soft play for real soldiers in town is not open today Daddy?”) Well, they’ve not forgotten you and put together an online exhibition for you. The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) were formed to free up valuable and experienced soldiers from the rear areas for front line service. As part of the mobilisation of the whole country this milestone in the push for equal rights formed the basis for women’s service in the British Army to this day. It’s Defenitely worth a minute of your time to find out some incredibly fascination facts, what do you think ?

Image: detail of: ‘A Convoy, 1918’, by John Everett. Repro ID: BHC1387. Copyright: NMM, Greenwich, London.

Image : A Dorset Woman at War : British Red Cross Museum/Studland Village Hall Committee