It was the 14th October and, with the nights drawing in and Remembrance Sunday coming close, our lunch club thought it only fitting to visit the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth, and look back on the world wars and how it affected communities around the world.
Yes, we all tested out their cafe before dispersing across the five floors. The top floor centred on heroes who were awarded the Victoria and George Crosses for bravery beyond the call of duty. The Victoria Cross, created 29 January 1856, named after Queen Victoria who personally chose the inscription ‘For Valour’ and hand-made, traditionally using bronze taken from a gun captured in the Crimean War. The George Cross, created 24th September 1940. The act which earns the award must be witnessed by several individuals. It was Named after King George VI, who personally designed many details. The inscription reads ‘For Gallantry’ it’s made from solid silver and just over 400 people have been awarded it, many of them civilians.
Other floors displayed remnants of aircraft, bombs, war mementos and vivid descriptions of life through both world wars, other wars and terrorist attacks. The fourth floor showed the horrors of Nazi regime and the creation of The Holocaust. It was the systematic murder of millions of Europe’s Jews during the Second World War. The Nazis enslaved and murdered millions of others as well. Political opponents, Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), homosexuals, prisoners of conscience, people with physical and mental disabilities, Polish, Soviet prisoners of war and others were killed or died in camps as a result of neglect, starvation, torture or disease.
There didn’t seem enough time to take everything in but the images of those times will stay with all of us for a very long time after we each parted our ways at the end of the day.
To find out more about our lunch club project visit our Lunch Club page.