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"IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM - a walkthrough in pictures (Joe's pics)" Topic

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2,443 hits since 29 May 2009
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Joe Dever Inactive Member29 May 2009 9:53 a.m. PST

Walkthrough May 2009

Here's a walkthrough in pictures of a visit to the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth, London (May 27, 2009). Hopefully, the pictures will whet your appetite for what this place has to offer, because there is plenty more on show that I didn't manage to capture on camera. By any standard, the IWM is a world class military museum and a definate 'must-see'.

The IWM is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War up to the present day. It seeks to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘war-time experience'. It is rightly regarded as one of the essential sights of London.

The Museum spans a huge range of activities at its main London location, and also at its other four locations: the Churchill Museum at the Cabinet War Rooms in Whitehall, the HMS Belfast moored in the Pool of London, the Imperial War Museum Duxford near Cambridge, and the Imperial War Museum North in Trafford.

War Museum Website:

Link to Pictures:

Please feel free to comment on and caption the pictures. Thanks.

NoLongerAMember Inactive Member29 May 2009 10:22 a.m. PST

Superb, I really must visit again.

Waterloo Inactive Member29 May 2009 11:07 a.m. PST

Very good, If I ever get across the pond that is one place I must see.


Angel Barracks Inactive Member29 May 2009 11:30 a.m. PST

Nice, are you the fella that looks like Rich Hall?

Places to visit must include the national army museum too:

Joe Dever Inactive Member29 May 2009 11:34 a.m. PST

To: angelbarracks
"…are you the fella that looks like Rich Hall?"
That's my son, Ben.

NoLongerAMember Inactive Member29 May 2009 11:37 a.m. PST

One of the strangest things about the IWM is the actual building it is sited in. It is the remaining structure of the Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane (bedlam).

Good to see the pictures are better placed and lit than my last visit, is the glass head of Mussolini still on display.

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2009 11:42 a.m. PST

I too would recommend the National Army Museum (excellent), and the Chelsea Pensioners museum at the Royal Hospital next door, probably one of the best shako, cap badge and medal collections ever (not to mention some French Napoleonic eagles and other interesting stuff)

BigLee29 May 2009 12:20 p.m. PST

Nice pictures. Its been a few years since I last went there (took my daughter to the Holocaust exhibition). maybe its time to take daughter number 2….

Chris PzTp Inactive Member29 May 2009 1:24 p.m. PST

Nice pictures, thanks for posting them.

What is the peice of broken metal in #184,
and what's the story behind the ship in #197?


Martin Rapier29 May 2009 1:41 p.m. PST

Yes, very nice pics. THe IWM is one of my favourite days out in London. Both the kids have been a few times, the WW1 trench being very popular (with Sean Bean doing the Sergeants voiceover).

184 is a German bomb casing, not sure about 197.

Wargamer Blue29 May 2009 5:06 p.m. PST

Thanks for posting the pics Joe. The IWM is a place I would like to visit but I don't think I will ever get the opportunity.

Jeigheff29 May 2009 7:52 p.m. PST

Thank you, Joe. Seeing the IWM must be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. I'll probably never get to see it in person, and I certainly appreciate you sharing your pictures. It's guys like you who make me keep coming back to TMP.

Once last thing: what was the content of picture #75? It was the only photo I saw that was deleted. It's not a big deal, but I'm just curious.


JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2009 9:47 a.m. PST

Could #197 be a model of the tanker Ohio of Operation Pedestal fame? (re-supply of Malta)

Bob the Temple Builder30 May 2009 9:48 a.m. PST

The ship in #197 is the SAN DEMETRIO, a tanker that was in a convoy that was attacked by a German raider (Admiral Scheer). The tanker was hit and set on fire, and abandoned by her crew. Some of them later re-boarded her and managed to get her home to the UK. They made a film about it in 1943.

For more information see link

Bob Cordery

Chris PzTp Inactive Member30 May 2009 4:52 p.m. PST

Thanks for the answers!

jony663 Inactive Member03 Jun 2009 4:44 a.m. PST

Thank you Joe. Love the pictures. I was lucky to get there when I was visiting my daughter going to school in London. Sort of one of the holies of wargaming.


Chortle Fezian Inactive Member03 Jun 2009 11:27 p.m. PST

I was there a few days after you. It was interesting to see just how low those Anti tank guns are. You really have to crouch to get in behind them. Quite natural if you are looking down the business end of tank. These pictures are also very useful if you are assembling guns.

Chouan Inactive Member15 Jun 2009 1:36 a.m. PST

Yes, 197 is Eagle Oil's "San Demetrio", The AMC (Admiralty Floating Coffin) "Jervis Bay" was lost trying to protect the convoy from the "Scheer", as was Canadian Pacific's "Beaverford", an ordinary DEMS equipped Merchant Ship:

Below is an extract from a book written by Commander CR Vernon Gibbs RN, entitled "Western Ocean Passenger Lines and Liners 1934 to 1969."


"The Canadian Pacific fleet has always included cargo ships and one which earned immortality should be mentioned, since by some inexplicable chance her name has escaped general record. "Beaverford" belonged to Halifax convoy HX 84 which on 5th November 1940 encountered the (German) pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. The escorting armed merchant cruiser, Jervis Bay, at once attacked, although her swift destruction was a certainty. The convoy scattered and Admiral Scheer pursued the nearest large ship, "Beaverford". The white ensign (on the Jervis Bay) was gone and "Beaverford", though only armed for defence against submarines, must keep her red ensign flying to the last to allow more fortunate vessels to speed away in other directions. Her fight with Admiral Scheer began about sundown and skill combined with fortune enabled her to resist until nearly an hour before midnight. Then "Beaverford" blew up leaving no survivors."

As one can see, she engaged the "Scheer" for 5 HOURS! before being hit, whilst carrying a cargo of ammunition!

From " The Real Cruel Sea" by Richard Woodman.

"When he arrived in Britain Captain Piekarski of the small Polish ship Puck expressed his admiration for the courage of Fegen and his crew in a letter to the Times, and in due course Edward Fogarty Fegen [Capt AMC JERVIS BAY] was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. No such honour was accorded the shade of Pettigrew".

Also from the same book and in reference to the ADMIRAL SCHEER's attack on the Ulsterman "KENBANE HEAD", Woodman writes: "Seeing her predicament, Captain Pettigrew of the Canadian Pacific general cargo-vessel BEAVERFORD tried to draw the ADMIRAL SCHEER's shells by opening fire himself with his own two anti-submarine guns, a courageous act in view of the fact that while his ship carried food and timber in her "tweendecks, her holds were full of munitions".

A crew list is available below.


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2009 4:36 p.m. PST

Went to the IWM a few years ago when they had the 1940's fashion exhibition on (using holdings from the V&A's collections).

That was an odd experience – the main hall and the exhibition were over run with fashion students, rather than the usual suspects


Any chance of a Portuguese WW1 uniform in that museum?

Cacadores Inactive Member17 Jun 2009 3:46 p.m. PST

Great photos, Joe!

Mal Wright Fezian Inactive Member17 Jun 2009 10:43 p.m. PST

Very impressive. Excellent photographs.

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