Veterans, curators, and authors head line-up of first ever IWM live event

Attendees will have the chance to get up close to the museum's historical aircraft, and handle objects from its collection.

The Imperial War Museum has announced its first ever all-day live event, consisting of talks from conflict veterans, museum curators, and leading authors in the field of military history.

IWM Live will take place at the museum’s Duxford branch on Saturday, 11 June this year. Tickets are now available online.

A former base for the RAF and USAAF during the First and Second World Wars, Duxford is today Europe’s largest air museum. It regularly hosts annual Air Shows and Flying Days, in which some of its historical aircraft can be seen taking to the skies.

IWM's Duxford branch in Cambridgeshire is home to a unique collection of over 200 aircraft. Image: IWM.
IWM’s Duxford branch in Cambridgeshire is home to a unique collection of over 200 aircraft. Image: IWM.

The live event in mid-June will feature a range of talks about some these aircraft, such as the Lancaster, Vulcan, Spitfire, and Mosquito, allowing attendees to get up close to the vehicles and handle objects from the museum’s collection.

Various high-profile writers are scheduled to attend the event, including Professor Richard Overy, author of Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War 1931-1945; Clare Mulley, author of The Women Who Flew For Hitler; and Katja Hoyer, author of Blood and Iron.

Alongside them, some of the museum’s own curators will discuss subjects such as HMS Belfast and the Arctic Convoys, the experiences of Black Americans in Britain during the Second World War, and the story of how the IWM was founded in the midst of the First World War. A full line-up of IWM Live will be announced later in the year.

Commenting on the announcement, Emily Charles, curator at IWM and scheduled speaker at the event, said: ‘IWM Live is a really exciting venture for us and there really is nowhere better to see history come to life than at this site which has seen some of the most dramatic days in twentieth century conflict.’

‘In particular I’m looking forward to introducing audiences to stories of some of the real people who shaped life and culture in the UK when American forces came to Britain in the Second World War,’ Charles added.

Along with Duxford, the IWM’s four other branches across the country attract over 2.5 million visitors each year. New galleries on the Second World War and The Holocaust recently opened at IWM’s flagship London branch.