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This Saturday – 19 April – marks the three month countdown to our re-opening on 19 July.

While we’ve been busy updating on all the activity taking place behind the scenes here are our top five things to see when we re-open this summer.

First World War Galleries

Our new First World War Galleries will present the story of the war – how it started, why it continued and its global impact, through the lives and viewpoints of those who experienced it at the time.

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The team move the Sopwith Camel aircraft into IWM London

The end of March saw the arrival of two of IWM’s most iconic First World War objects – the Mark V Male tank and Sopwith Camel aircraft.

This installation represented a significant milestone in the Transforming London project – the tank and the aircraft are the last two large objects to be installed in the new First World War galleries ahead of our reopening  in the summer.

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A detail of one of the projections featured in the new galleries. Image © Squint / Opera

Over the past 18 months we’ve been busy behind the scenes creating our new First World War Galleries, which open to the public on 19 July 2014. The digital media team is a key part of this development.

The previous First World War Galleries were designed in the late 1980s and opened to the public in 1990 before modern technology. Now, with a wide range of digital technologies at our disposal, we can offer new ways of presenting content for the visitor and put the surrounding objects into context.

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December 2013 saw the return of one of our most iconic objects – the V2 rocket. The rocket is now in place in our new atrium.

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Watch this short film to find out how our conservation team have cleaned and restored our First World War Observation Tree in time for the opening of our new First World War Galleries in July 2014.

The British camouflage tree observation post is one of the more unusual items in our collections – the museum acquired this tree in 1918 and it is believed to be one of only two in museums in the world. Find out more.


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The British Camouflage Tree

The British camouflage tree observation post. Image © IWM (FEQ 854)

This British camouflage tree observation post is one of the more unusual objects in our collection. Its journey from the fields of the Western Front to display in our new First World War Galleries, nearly one hundred years later, tells us much about the way that the First World War was fought but also how its impact is still with us today in unexpected and surprising ways.

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Discover what we got up to during Kid’s in Museum’s Takeover Day 2013 at IWM London from our Youth Advisers, staff and the special guests who took part…

Seven IWM Youth Advisers became curators for the day working with James Taylor, the lead curator of the First World War galleries, and writing the family captions for the new galleries

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Crowds cheer outside Buckingham Palace upon the declaration of war on Germany, August 1914.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, soldiers across Europe marched off to fight.  They were enthusiastically supported by people back home, who hoped their nation would win a swift victory.

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