IWM Director-General Diane Lees explains the planned redevelopment work for IWM London
Last night, the IWM Foundation, an independent charitable trust, hosted its patron Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge at a reception to launch a £35million fundraising effort to transform our First World War galleries in time for 2014.
In a deeply personal speech, Lord Rothermere, founder of the IWM Foundation, highlighted the ‘devastating impact’ the First World War had on many thousands of families in the country, including his own.
His great-grandfather, the 1st Viscount Rothermere, Harold Sidney Harmsworth, tragically lost two of his three sons in the fighting.
19th century print showing the exterior of the Bethlem Royal Hospital © IWM (Q82924)
The National War Museum was founded in 1917 when the government decided that a museum should be set up to collect and display material related to the First World War, which was still being fought. Interest from the Dominion governments led to a change in name to Imperial War Museum. It was formally established by Act of Parliament in 1920.
Hello and welcome!
The First World War was a turning point in world history. Claiming the lives of over 16 million people across the globe most people in the world have a connection to it, either through their own family history, links to their local community or because of its long term impact on the world we live in today.
It was during this time that IWM (Imperial War Museums) was founded as a lasting memorial to all those who played their part in the conflict, be that at home or on the fighting front and we continue in this role today.