For this Saturday’s outing we visited the Churchill War Rooms. This is where the secret underground headquarters for the British government were housed throughout the Second World War.
After the First World War, there was a fear that London would be the target of aerial bombardment. In 1938, the basement of a Whitehall building was chosen as the site for the Cabinet War Rooms. From 1940 – 1945 hundreds of men and women would spend thousands of hours hidden in the bunkers and it soon became the inner sanctum of British government. Churchill’s wartime bunker is a fascinating piece of history. It includes an underground maze of rooms that once buzzed with round-the-clock planning and plotting, strategies and secrets.
Following the surrender of the Japanese Forces, the doors to the Cabinet War Rooms were locked on August 16, 1945 and the complex was left undisturbed until Parliament ensured its preservation as a historic site in 1948. Knowledge of the site and access to it remained highly restricted until the late 1970s when the Imperial War Museum began the task of preserving the site and its contents, making them accessible. In 1984 the main war rooms opened to the public. In 2005 the museum part of the war rooms was opened and is solely dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill. It’s a multimedia venue and that contains interact pieces that really make it a family-friendly place. We spent a few hours walking around and taking in a comprehensive overview of Churchill’s life. It was fascinating to uncover the man behind the image and really see the contributions that he made during his lifetime. It was such a tribute to him and the work he did for England and beyond!