World War I commemorations bring back wartime memories

London, April 17: Britain’s leading museums, galleries and cultural charities have sparked a nationwide craze to mark the centenary of the First World War (WWI), seeking to help communities and travelers in the country recapture wartime memories through state-of-the-art technologies.

The Imperial War Museums (IWM), established in 1917 when WWI was still on, is partnering with the British government to commemorate the landmark anniversary of the outbreak of WWI, Xinhua reported quoting VisitEngland, a national tourist board in Britain.

From April, the IWM will coordinate its five branches across the country to host a wide range of new exhibitions, displays and cultural events, with more than 500 exhibitions and 1,500 events scheduled between 2014 and 2018.

From July 19, the museum’s flagship branch IWM London is to unveil its new permanent WWI Galleries.

Here, visitors can discover the story of the war and its global impact through the lives of those who experienced it at the time on both the frontline and the home front across Britain and its expire, the IWM said.

Featuring a variety of interactive digital displays, the permanent galleries will showcase over 1,300 objects, including weapons, uniforms, diaries, letters, souvenirs, military posters and ship models in its WWI collections.

“These galleries will allow audiences old and young to explore the First World War in great depth. They will experience the sights, smells and sounds of the recreated trench, see what life was like at the front,” said Diane Lees, director general of IWM.

The museum also encourages visitors to explore some of the harsh realities of war through its specially designed “atmospheric reflection areas” and “sound collections”, according to the IWM.

IWM London, temporally closed until July 19, is undergoing a $67 million redevelopment, which includes the building of new WWI galleries and a new atrium.

The exhibition, held from April 5 to May 31, includes previously unpublished stories of soldiers, pilots and sailors who fought in different parts of the world.

IANS