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Imperial War Museum
Photograph: Pajor Pawel/

Memories of war will be broadcast in public spaces to mark 75 years since the end of WWII

Written by
Stephanie Phillips

There’s a big anniversary happening later this year (so big that it’s affecting the way our May bank holidays fall) – and the Imperial War Museum (IWM) are planning to mark the occasion in a suitably large-scale way. 

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the museum will bring city life to a standstill by broadcasting voices from the war in public spaces. 

IWM plans to bring their sound archive to various locations across London and the UK, including schools, universities, supermarkets, historic landmarks and transport hubs. 

The project, named Voices of War, consists of three separate compilations and includes unique testimonies and first-hand memories of Winston Churchill, prisoners of war, civilian accounts and the events that led to the end of WWII. 

‘Voices of War takes inspiration from the huge crowds who stopped and listened together 75 years ago, in public spaces across the world, to the declaration of victory in Europe and then the Far East,’ said the Director General of IWM, Diane Lees. ‘We want to recreate that moment, using our fascinating sound archive, to share the stories and memories of those who lived through the conflicting jubilation, hope, sadness and fear that was felt during the summer of 1945.’

Voices of War will go out three times: on Friday May 8 (a bank holiday and the anniversary of VE Day) at 3pm, the exact time Churchill announced the war was over; at 11am on Thursday August 6, to mark the atomic bomb being launched on Hiroshima; and Saturday August 15, which is the anniversary of VJ Day (signifying victory over Japan). 

The audio project is part of IWM’s Victory 75 – a programme of events analysing the end of WWII and the global aftermath of the war – which will run from April 30 to August 15.

IWM is asking for public venues and organisations who want Voices of War to be broadcast in their venue to register their interest on the IWM website.

Fancy learning some more about history? Check out the top museums in London right now. 

Find out what else is happening in May in London

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