D-Day Stories from Southampton’s Walls: Recording heritage and disseminating untold soldier stories - Guest blog by Helen Wallbridge

The D-Day Wall in Western Esplanade, Southampton
The D-Day Wall in Western Esplanade, Southampton

A 19-metre-long section of brick wall near the waterfront in Southampton, known as ‘The D-Day Wall’ still bears the graffiti left by US troops, 76 years ago. SSN Member Helen Wallbridge, from the Maritime Archaeology Trust, tells us about a project to research and preserve it.

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Exhibition mock-ups: a Conservator's role

Over the past year, IWM Conservators have worked with the Transforming IWM London (TIWML) team to complete ‘mock-ups’ of the showcases going into the new Second World War and Holocaust galleries – this blog post gives a summary of the work involved.

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Digital Futures: How to preserve our most vulnerable digital media

This image shows the process required to produce high quality reproductions that appear as intended when the original photographs were taken. Images have been corrected and optimised at IWM's Visual Resources department to bring back colour accuracy and detail, removing colour casts, as negatives degrade over time and become faded.
© IWM (TR 018330A)

In 2020, IWM initiated Digital Futures, a five year project to digitise 1.8 million films, photographs and sound recordings and slow down the degradation of 6.8 million items by freezing, isolating or refrigerating them. This mass preservation project is digitising some of our most vulnerable media from the Cold War era.  

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Suffering and survival: the captive body during the Second World War

Stanley Gimson, Kanyu Riverside Camp: Dysentery Ward (1943) © IWM (Art.IWM ART 16893)

Private Geoffrey Monument was serving with the Royal Army Service Corps when he was captured at the fall of Singapore, 15 February 1942. He would spend the next three and half years in captivity at Changi, Haito in Formosa (today’s Taiwan) and various camps in Japan. Monument wrote poetry in a diary and notebooks that he kept secret during his time as a prisoner and these are now held in IWM’s collections.

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IWM Short Film Festival 2014

Filmmaking in IWM’s collections: stripped to the waist, Sergeant Basil Wishart of No 9 Army Film and Photo Section films Indian troops crossing a river near Meiktila, Burma in 1945. © IWM SE5423

On a sunny Autumn afternoon, I moved through the crowds pouring into IWM London to attend a screening of this year’s Film Festival. Launched in 2001 as a student competition by Toby Haggith, the Founding Director, the film festival is back from a three year absence to mark the reopening of the Museum.

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Guest post: The Fortieth Anniversary of The World at War

Image of German troops advancing on the Russian army. Image courtesy of Fremantle Media.

Our guest blogger Taylor Downing is a historian and writer whose best selling books include works on the Second World War as well as other popular histories. Taylor also writes on the history of film and television. Recent publications include The World At War (BFI Palgrave Macmillan 2012) an account of the making of the landmark documentary series, and a number of publications on the Second World War including Night Raid (Little, Brown 2013), Spies in the Sky (Little, Brown 2011) and Churchill’s War Lab (Little, Brown 2010). Taylor is currently writing the history of a series of change making scientists from the First World War, to be published in 2014.

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