William to open new WW1 galleries

Hampshire Chronicle: The Duke of Cambridge is to open the refurbished First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum in London The Duke of Cambridge is to open the refurbished First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum in London

The Duke of Cambridge is to open the Imperial War Museum's (IWM) new First World War galleries today.

The permanent exhibition within the London attraction marks the centenary of the start of the conflict, and will allow visitors to discover the story of the war - how it started, how the Allies won and its global impact.

On display will be more than 1,300 objects ranging from weapons, uniforms and equipment to diaries and letters, keepsakes and trinkets, photographs, film and art.

The museum's atrium has also been transformed and the space will be filled with newly curated displays of objects, film and artworks from its collections, telling the story of the conflict from 1914 to the present day.

William is visiting the museum in his role as patron of the IWM Foundation's First World War Centenary Campaign.

Diane Lees, the museum's director-general, said: "Each of the objects on display will give a voice to the people who created them, used them or cared for them and reveal stories not only of destruction, suffering and loss, but also endurance and innovation, duty and devotion, comradeship and love.

"Visitors will see what life was like at the front, and experience the sights and sounds of a recreated trench, with the Sopwith Camel fighter plane and Mark V tank looming above them.

"They will learn of the terrible strain the war placed on people and communities and will be able to consider some of the questions and choices, ordinary and extraordinary, that people of Britain and its former Empire had to face in this first 'total war'."

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