Image of IWM logo with photographic background IWM Research Blog

Research at IWM aims to develop understanding of the history of modern war and wartime experience through our rich and diverse collections.  In this blog we introduce you to the work which the Department of Research and Academic Partnerships co-ordinates in order to further this aim.

IWM Collections cover all aspects of twentieth and twenty-first century conflict involving Britain, the Commonwealth and other former countries of the Empire, and embraces objects, film, testimonies, books, documents and photographs. We will bring you news of:

  • interesting and unusual collections at IWM currently bring researched by our curators
  • academic conferences and seminars
  • IWM research projects
  • news of other research activities which we think might interest you.

The blog is largely written by IWM researchers, but you will also hear from people who work closely with us from time to time.

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The views expressed in the blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of IWM.

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  1. Amy says: October 21, 20132:00 pm

    Hello! I’m writing from a charity organisation called Dance United. We are developing a project for 2014 in remembrance of the Great War, and we’d like to send info about it as the project develops. Is there an e-mail address you can be reached at?

    • Alys Cundy says: October 25, 20131:47 pm

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for your message. The best place to let us know about your project is through the website This is the site for the First World War Centenary, a project led by IWM that is drawing together events around 2014-2018. There is a Contact Page there where you can get in touch with the organisers.

      Best of luck,


  2. John L Roberts says: January 3, 20148:08 am

    I am the son of the late Capt. Charles Frank Roberts who worked at Briggens SOE forgery station from 1941-1945. I have some 50 photos from Briggens plus 12 editions of Snoop the wall newspaper produced by the staff. Anyone interested in seeing these please contact me.

    • Alys Cundy says: January 7, 20146:15 pm

      Hi John,

      Thank you for getting in touch and for letting us know about the material that you have from your father. If you would like to get in touch with specific Departments about the photos and the newspapers you can contact the Photograph Archive by calling +44 (0) 20 7416 5333 and the Collections team on +44(0) 20 7416 5342 or by emailing

      All the best,


  3. Dr John L Roberts says: February 3, 20148:58 am

    Thanks Alys Cundy. I believe Des Turner who has published variously on SOE stations is preparing a new book on Briggens. I have not been able to contact him through his website there seems to be a glitch. Do you have a contact postal or email address? I have tried his publishers without success. Meanwhile I shall try the collections link you suggested.

  4. Dr John L Roberts says: February 3, 20148:59 am

    Alys, by all means contact my by my email address

  5. Stephen Best says: March 10, 201410:19 pm

    Can any historians out there help me piece together a story I’ve heard about one of the WWII Steam Gunboats which was damaged in a raid on a French port and was rescued by a second SGB which towed it home. It is of personal interest as my Great Uncle Harry (Moseley) was the forward gunner on the boat which turned back to assist the damaged boat. ‘They’d have done it for us’ he said, but he can’t remember the name or number of his SGB. I have a clear photograph of S305 (Grey Owl) supposedly in Dieppe in 1942 (WRIGHT & LOGAN) – but I don’t believe for one minute the crew would be lined up on deck to have their photograph taken in this location ! Thank you for taking the trouble to read this, I look forward to hearing any comments. Kind regards, Stephen

    • Alys Cundy says: March 14, 20143:05 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for your enquiry. I’m afraid the Research Department doesn’t have anyone working on Steam Gunboats specifically. However, you are welcome to use what material we have here at the museum to look into the story yourself. We do have material on Gunboats in France during the Second World War, including a number of recordings of interviews with those who served aboard them, which may be of interest. You can search for what we have using our Collections Search. If you find anything of interest you can get in touch and book an appointment to use the Research Room using this form or by calling +44(0) 20 7416 5342. You may also like to get in touch with the Photograph Archive about your photo of S305. They can be reached on +44 (0) 20 7416 5333 and you can also book an appointment to look at material there.

      Hope that helps. Best of luck with your investigation.


  6. Mark says: April 29, 20143:36 pm

    I will be in Manchester on Wed 14th May and plan to visit the IWM North. My late father was with the 11th DLI & then the Devonshires. He was a signaller so they used to take over the radio station when they liberated/occupied cities like Brussels & Hamburg.
    He brought back some material from Lord Haw-Haw’s office in Hamburg radio station. There are about 5 pages of Haw-Haw scripts (including comments on Roosevelt’s death) and notes for greetings to families (eg name & address in UK) of British PoWs (eg name, taken at Arnhem & wounded/unhurt or uncooperative!).
    If anybody at IWM is interested in seeing this material I can bring it with me to IWM in Manchester on afternoon of Wed 14th May.


    • Alys Cundy says: May 2, 201412:37 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your message. The material that you have from your father sounds really fascinating. It might be a good idea to get in touch with someone from the Collections Department before you make your visit to IWM North. You can fill in a form about your material here, and a member of staff will get back to you. You could also get in touch directly with IWM North on +44 (0)161 836 4000 or, and they may be able to put you in touch with someone you can talk to.

      Hope that helps, thanks again for letting us know about this.

      All the best,


  7. Andrew Pearse says: May 28, 20146:08 am

    Marsa Brega (Libya) Re-March 1941

    My name is Andrew Pearse and I’m a Land Surveyor working in Marsa Brega itself. I have recently obtained some aerial photography from around 1959 which clearly shows the scars of battle. I have built up a reasonable amount of knowledge on the subject of the one day delaying tactics to the axis forces in this area. I’m in the process of geo-rectifying the 1959 mosiacs so I can “find” anything on the ground using GPS & GoogleEarth etc. I’m keen to continue this research myself – for the time being. However a little help is required. It seems a number of recurring patterns of ground disturbance are apparent. I was wondering if any of your researchers have pursued this type of interpretation and have laid down any procedures or reference data that could help me identify the source of such patterns. I know the Axis forces made several bombing sorties on this day using Stuka’s and other bombing tactics. There should also be British artillery “scars” to be identified along with mortar and other projectile craters.

    This is just a preliminary enquiry to see if anybody at the IWM is on the same wavelength – as it were. I’m sure I cant be pioneering!

    Regards and thanks.
    AJ Pearse

    • Anna Maguire says: July 3, 20143:26 pm

      Dear Andrew,

      Thank you for your comment and apologies for the delay in responding to you. The best thing would be for you to email our research department with your query – – where you will be directed to the appropriate person. I hope that helps and I look forward to hearing about the results of your research.

      Good luck and all the best,


  8. Terry Douglas says: July 15, 20147:43 pm

    I am researching a WW1 Next of kin Memorial Plaque, & i have read that over 800 designs were submitted for consideration, which got me to thinking.
    Is there any of the submitted designs available to view in a programme or brochure, i have tried unsuccessfully to investigate if some of the designs are available to view (preferably online if possible.

    I look forward to your reply

    Thankyou in advance

    Terry Douglas CPO Royal Navy.

    • Rebecca Coll says: July 17, 201412:53 pm

      Dear Terry,

      Thank-you for your comment. For questions about our collection or researching family history, to make a research appointment or offer material to the museum, please use our collections enquiries service: I hope this helps.

      Good luck!


  9. Mark Derby says: July 22, 20143:42 am

    I’m a New Zealand historian, writing the biography of a New Zealand woman who worked as welfare and personnel supervisor at two London armaments factories during 1941-43. Both factories manufactured products for the Mills Equipment Co. I am hoping to learn anything about this company’s activities in the London region during this period, and hopefully to identify the factories themselves. Any advice, suggestions or contacts appreciated.

    Mark Derby

    • Rebecca Coll says: July 22, 20149:43 am

      Dear Mark,

      Thank-you for your comment, your work sounds really interesting. I suggest you send an email to where somebody may be able to provide you with the contact you need.


  10. paul clark says: August 8, 20148:56 am

    I am trying find out information about regiments based at Bridens camp nr Hemel Hempsted Hertfordshire and deployed around Decemder 1915 and July 1916 . Any help would be appreciated ? were do i start looking.

    • Anna Maguire says: August 11, 201412:13 pm

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment. A first step could be searching for the camp on IWM’s online catalogue to see if any of the collections held relate to this. Alternatively, for questions about our collections or to make an appointment in our research rooms, please use our collections enquiries service: I hope this helps and good luck with your search.

      All best,

  11. Eamonn Cox says: October 5, 20147:33 pm

    can you help me in finding out more about the reinstatement of the battle fields,in perticulare the tractors and machinery that was used any help would be great thanks

    • Anna Maguire says: November 4, 20148:30 am

      Hi Eamonn,

      Many thanks for your enquiry. If I can redirect you to the collections enquiry service here:, the collections access team will receive your query and be in a good position to help.

      Good luck with you research and all the best,


  12. Landon Bell says: October 13, 201412:20 pm


    I am looking for dimensions, pitch, and other data for aircraft engines and propellers from the Great War. Specifically, I am looking for the dimensions and pitch for propellers and RPM for the following aircraft to support performance analysis:

    Airco DH-2
    Morane N
    Fokker Eindecker E III (or any variant)
    Albatross D-III
    Sopwith Camel
    Fokker Dr. 1
    Spad XIII

    Does such a database exist? If so, where can I find it?

    Landon Bell

    • Anna Maguire says: November 4, 20148:30 am

      Dear Landon,

      Many thanks for your enquiry. If I can redirect you to the collections enquiry service here:, the collections access team will receive your query and be in a good position to help.

      Good luck with you research and all the best,


  13. Philip Edwards says: October 29, 20148:44 pm

    During WWI the large hangars as well as several of the buildings at the former RNAS seaplane base, Killingholme were camouflaged with rather large splotches of paint. My interest is learning if those colors could be documented in some manner. It seems a rather outrageous question to ask but, perhaps (just as with merchant ships) there were some standards involved in painting buildings and structures to camouflage them circa that period?

    • Anna Maguire says: November 4, 20148:31 am

      Hi Philip,

      Many thanks for your enquiry. If I can redirect you to the collections enquiry service here:, the collections access team will receive your query and be in a good position to help.

      Good luck with you research and all the best,


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