War Museums in the UK

Throughout history, War Memorials were erected to commemorate victories in battle, but today’s memorials are not to glorify war, but to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and to stand as a reminder of the horror of war, and maybe to create an understanding between former enemies in the hope that peace can be our future. Many memorials stand to the memory of the un-named dead, whereas others bear the names of the brave men and women who sadly lost their lives in these conflicts. Discover information on War Museums across the UK and find out locations, opening times and other important information you may need to know when visiting one of the UK War Museums

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Imperial War Museum Duxford

Imperial War Museum Duxford is a branch of the Imperial War Museum near the village of Duxford in Cambridgeshire, England. Britain’s largest aviation museum,Duxford houses the museum’s large exhibits, including nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and minor naval vessels in seven main exhibitions buildings.The site also provides storage space for the museum’s other collections of material such as film, photographs, documents, books and artefacts. The site accommodates a number of British Army regimental museums, including those of the Parachute Regiment (named Airborne Assault) and the Royal Anglian Regiment.Based on the historic Duxford Aerodrome, the site was originally operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the First World War.

Imperial War Museum Duxford

IWM, London

Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England. Founded as the Imperial War Museum in 1917, the museum was intended to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire during the First World War. The museum’s remit has since expanded to include all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces have been involved since 1914. As of 2012, the museum aims “to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘wartime experience’”

Imperial War Museum London

The Yorkshire Air Museum

The Yorkshire Air Museum is the largest independent air museum in Britain and is also the location of The Allied Air Forces Memorial. Situated in a 20 acre parkland on the former World War II RAF Bomber Command Station at Elvington near the City of York, it is the largest and most original WWII station open to the public. It was also the only base used by the French heavy bomber squadrons during the war and today includes award winning gardens, a large NAAFI style restaurant and shop, plus over 15 top class exhibitions, a large range of military vehicles and 50 historic aircraft, many of which are in working order.

The Yorkshire Air Museum

Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is dedicated to the history of Aviation and in particular that of the R.A.F. It is one of two sites, the other being at Colindale, near Hendon, in North London. Cosford opened on 1st may 1979 and was one of the R.A.F. stations which had been used to store the museum’s collection of aircraft. Over the following years additional aircraft were added to the collection and in June 1998 four additional galleries were opened.

Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

Aviation Heritage Centre

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is dedicated to the history of Aviation and in particular that of the R.A.F. It is one of two sites, the other being at Colindale, near Hendon, in North London. Cosford opened on 1st may 1979 and was one of the R.A.F. stations which had been used to store the museum’s collection of aircraft. Over the following years additional aircraft were added to the collection and in June 1998 four additional galleries were opened.

Aviation Heritage Centre

The Tank Museum

The tank was a British invention that changed warfare for ever when it was introduced in World War One – and Bovington has been the home of the tank ever since. From the Somme to Tiananmen Square or D-Day to Desert Storm the tank has played a part in shaping history – and it continues to do so today. This unique collection of over 300 vehicles is regarded as the best in the world and includes the world’s first ever tank, the feared German Tiger tank and the modern Challenger 2.

The Tank Museum

Western Approaches Museum

Combined Operations, which was responsible for control of the Western Approaches, was moved in 1941 from Plymouth to Derby House, part of Exchange Buildings. The move was instigated by the fact that German aircraft and U-boats (submarines) were attacking ships travelling to Britain from the French coast, hence, ships were re-directed around the north of Ireland. Western Approaches Command HQ was therefore moved to Liverpool on 7 February 1941.

Western Approaches Museum

Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, in the Borough of Brentwood in the English county of Essex, is a large underground bunker maintained during the cold war as a potential regional government headquarters. Since being decommissioned in 1992, the bunker has been open to the public as a tourist attraction, with a museum focusing on its cold war history.The Kelvedon Hatch bunker was built in 1952–53 as part of ROTOR. ROTOR was a programme to improve and harden Britain’s air defence network. The bunker was a hardened ( three level ‘R4’) Sector Operations Center (SOC) for RAF Fighter Command.

Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum is located 7 miles (11 km) north of Yeovil, and 40 miles (64 km) south of Bristol. It has an extensive collection of military and civilian aircraft, as well as models of Royal Navy ships, especially aircraft carriers. Some of the museum has interactive displays. It is located by RNAS Yeovilton, and the museum has viewing areas where visitors can watch military aircraft (especially helicopters) take off and land. The museum’s aircraft collection numbers 94.

Fleet Air Arm Museum

Tilbury Fort

Tilbury Fort on the Thames estuary has protected London’s seaward approach from the 16th century through to the Second World War. Henry VIII built the first fort here, and Queen Elizabeth I famously rallied her army nearby to face the threat of the Armada. The present fort is much the best example of its type in England, with its circuit of moats and bastioned outworks

Tilbury Fort

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The Great War

Throughout history, War Memorials were erected to commemorate victories in battle, but today’s memorials are not to glorify war, but to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and to stand as a reminder of the horror of war

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