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My work with the team creating the new First World War Galleries gained an unexpected additional component when I was asked to write the book of the exhibition.

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Last week we released ‘Flight of the Stories‘, a short film commemorating the First World War Centenary and the opening of our new galleries at IWM London. In this film hear from IWM staff and the people inside Aardman who made ‘Flight of the Stories’ and find out the story behind the animated film made for the opening of our new First World War Galleries.

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The countdown to our re-opening on 19 July continues with the second in our series of films focusing on the objects you will see in our new galleries.

This week’s object is the Lusitania Camisole. The Lusitania Camisole is one of the many objects featured in our new First World War Galleries. It was worn by Mrs Margaret Gwyer, a survivor of the sinking of RMS Lusitania passenger ship, which was torpedoed by the Germans on 7 May 1915.

Mrs Gwyer fell into the water from a lifeboat and was sucked into one of the sinking ship’s funnels. However, the explosion of one of the ship’s boilers blew her back to the surface, where she was picked up and later reunited with her husband. She kept the oil-stained camisole as a reminder of her ordeal.

The camisole features in our new First World War Galleries, which open 19 July 2014.

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In March we completed our work conserving the objects that will feature in the new First World War Galleries and atrium at IWM London as part of our Transforming project. Over the last 18 months, the conservation teams at IWM Duxford and IWM London have conserved and prepared a whopping 1,456 objects.

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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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Polaroid of Youth Advisers Elana, Ciara and Josiah with Elizabeth Crawford, IWM’s Trusts and Foundations Officer

This week/Last week Elizabeth Crawford, who is the Trusts and Foundations Officer at IWM, came in to speak to us about how IWM is funded and her work with Trusts and Foundations, and also how we as the Youth Panel are funded.

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‘Our ambition is that a lot more people will understand that you can’t understand the world today unless you understand the causes, course and consequences of the First World War.’ Diane Lees, Director-General, IWM

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In case you haven’t heard, IWM London will be closing on 6 January until July 2014 as we continue our major redevelopments as part of our plans to mark the Centenary of the First World War in 2014.

When we re-open in July 2014 you will be able to visit our new First World War Galleries alongside our newly configured atrium that will display some of our iconic large objects – such as a Harrier, Spitfire and V2 rocket – plus some exciting new additions (more to be revealed over the coming months!).

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