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150 Year Anniversary of the Civil War - Missouri

Nearly 150 Years in the making and coming soon to Historic Jefferson Barracks!

An Educational Learning Center Dedicated to the Preservation and Study of Missouri and its Involvement in the American Civil War

 
Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. Founded as the Imperial War Museum in 1917, the museum was intended to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire during the First World War. The museum's remit has since expanded to include all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces have been involved since 1914. As of 2012, the museum aims "to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and 'wartime experience'.

Originally housed in the Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill, the museum opened to the public in 1920. In 1924, the museum moved to space in the Imperial Institute in South Kensington, and finally in 1936, the museum acquired a permanent home that was previously the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark. The outbreak of the Second World War saw the museum expand both its collections and its terms of reference, but in the post-war period, the museum entered a period of decline. The 1960s saw the museum redevelop its Southwark building, now referred to as Imperial War Museum London, which serves as the organization's corporate headquarters. During the 1970s, the museum began to expand onto other sites. The first, in 1976, was a historic airfield in Cambridgeshire now referred to as IWM Duxford. In 1978, the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Belfast became a branch of the museum, having previously been preserved for the nation by a private trust. In 1984, the Cabinet War Rooms, an underground wartime command centre, was opened to the public. From the 1980s onwards, the museum's Bethlem building underwent a series of multimillion-pound redevelopments, completed in 2000. Finally, 2002 saw the opening of IWM North in Trafford, Greater Manchester, the fifth branch of the museum and the first in the north of England. In 2011, the museum rebranded itself as IWM, standing for "Imperial War Museums".

The museum is funded by government grants, charitable donations, and revenue generation through commercial activity such as retailing, licensing, and publishing. General admission is free to IWM London (although specific exhibitions require the purchase of a ticket) and IWM North, but an admission fee is levied at the other branches. The museum is an exempt charity under the Charities Act 1993 and a non-departmental public body under the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. As of January 2012, the Chairman of the Trustees is Sir Francis Richards. Since October 2008, the museum's Director General has been Diane Lees.

The museum's exhibits collection includes a wide range of objects, organised into numerous smaller collections such as uniforms, badges, insignia and flags (including a Canadian Red Ensign carried at Vimy Ridge in 1917, a Union flag from the 1942 British surrender of Singapore, and another found among the wreckage of the World Trade Center following the September 11 attacks); personal mementoes, souvenirs and miscellanea such as trench art; orders, medals and decorations (including collections of Victoria and George Crosses); military equipment; firearms and ammunition, ordnance, edged weapons, clubs (such as trench clubs) and other weapons, and vehicles, aircraft and ships. The museum holds the national collection of modern firearms. The firearms collection includes a rifle used by T. E. Lawrence, and an automatic pistol owned by Winston Churchill. The ordnance collection includes artillery pieces that participated in notable battles, such as the Nery gun, a field gun that was used during the 1914 action at Nery, and equipment captured from enemy forces. The museum's vehicles collection includes Ole Bill, a bus used by British forces in the First World War, and a number of vehicles used by Field Marshal Montgomery during the Second World War. The museum's aircraft collection includes aircraft that are notable for their rarity, such as the only complete and original Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 in existence and one of only two surviving TSR-2 strike aircraft, and aircraft associated with particular actions, such as a Supermarine Spitfire flown during the Battle of Britain. The museum's naval collection includes HM Coastal Motor Boat 4 and a midget submarine HMS XE8. In 2012 the museum reported its exhibits collection to contain 155,000 objects and a further 357 vehicles and aircraft.

Missouri Civil War Museum


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