London Series: War Museums in London

Got to really apologize to all … there is no food in this blog entry. So, you gotta bear with me for one more time OK?

I had a whole Sunday to myself before I start my training course. There were a few things I wanted to visit for the day. Planned everything to perfection and guess what? I overslept and woke up at 10am. I wanted to wake up at 7am to have an early start. Gosh. I was soooo upset and kick myself for oversleeping. Despite all these travelling, I thought jet lag is not a problem. I was wrong.

There is a theory concerning jet lags which I have not fully figured yet … see if you agree with me. I was told that jet lag is worse if I travel from west to east (i.e. from Vancouver to London) than the other way round. I find that quite true.

Anyway, what I wanted to do was to lug my camera gear and see the changing of the Queen’s Life Guards. Sigh … it takes at least 1 hr to get to the city by tube. By the time got there, everything was over. I just can’t get over it … sigh … sigh …


For that day, I wanted to cover the two war museums — the Cabinet War Room and the Imperial War Museum. I love history — especially war history. Anyway, most history is centered around wars, right?

The Cabinet War Room is also known as the Churchill Museum. This is the exact location where Churchill and his cabinet conducted the war during the Second World War.


The Cabinet War Room is engineered as a bunker with underground links to 10 Downing. The Cabinet room (below) is where Churchill’s inner sanctum cabinet meet. I had a audio guide which describes in stunning detail each of every exhibit and room.


I find it so engrossing learning how life was during the war. The quarters were small and cramped. Below is the room of Churchill’s wife, Clementine. Strange … I was wondering why she does not share a same room with Churchill.


The room below is Churchill’s private dining room. Churchill, as I learned, is a stickler for keeping to routines despite the war. The daily dinner is an absolute must have to him.


Churchill’s room was the most spacious and comfortable of all rooms. He did not spend many nights in this room throughout the war, having preferred to stayed in 10 Downing unless there was an air raid.


I spent about two hours at this museum which also included a whole large area all about the life of Churchill. He was truly a national hero in the same stature of Admiral Nelson to Great Britain. What was amazing was that immediately after the war, he lost the election and his position as a Prime Minister.

After this I walked to the always busy Trafalgar Square. Took some pictures while I was there.


Another shot … of the National Gallery.


Took the train to the other war museum — the Imperial War Museum. This museum is dedicated to the conflicts that Britain had fought in the modern times.


There were a lot of exhibits of military vehicles and weapons. When I was in my elementary school days, I enjoyed building plastic kit models and had quite a few Airfix ones. Airfix was pretty big back then but I think they are no longer sell Airfixes anymore. Anyway, I remember very clearly my first Airfix model … it was the Matilda tank and here it was the model that I remember so much in detail. The double gun turret and the distinctive panels on the side.


The American made Sherman tank was another Airfix tank that I made. This was the tank that was used by the US in their bloodiest engagement against the Germans during World War II.


Anyone can guess what this bomb is? This replica of the real thing called Little Boy had it’s place in history.


There were a lot of other exhibits some of which did not allow photography. The one that was the most moving was the permanent exhibit on the Holocaust. The exhibit described chronologically the events from the rise of the Nazis right up to after the war, To me, it was moving and I noticed that a lot of people were moved.

So, here it is … my post on my day at the war museums. Thanks for bearing with me. I promise, the next few blog entries will be about food. Cheers!

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  1. Chris

    I loved this entry. I just went to the National Museum of Naval Aviation on vacation two weeks ago and they have hundreds of planes used by the US Navy (see my blog for pictures).

    I have seen that bomb replica and many others just a few miles from here in Oak Ridge TN, which was a top secret facility built as part of the Manhattan Project to create the uranium needed.

  2. Ben

    Hi Chris: I just checked your blog and the pictures from the museum were great — what more they are free too, wow! Seems like you had a great vacation. I am already thinking about the summer break this year.

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