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Secrets of the War Rooms: Unveiled by Students

- 21 June 2024 - MPW London - Read time: 3 minutes

History Trip to Churchill’s War Rooms (10th June): Student impressions

Seraphina Western

During the trip to the war rooms, we were allowed free access to explore the museum, looking at the exhibits which varied from artefacts to recreations of life at the time with mannequins and props. A particular favourite of mine was the specially made silent typewriter as Churchill couldn’t stand the noise of regular ones!  They had one of these on display along with interviews from women who worked there, who described their relationships with one another, what it was like working in conditions with limited contact with the outside world, and what life was like working under Churchill. The trip was hugely interesting in helping to visualise and understand the commitment workers and officials demonstrated in ensuring victory for the allies, along with impressive technologies available at the time. We were then allowed to explore the nearby area and visited the local pelicans in St. James Park, taking pictures with the swans and ducks!

Ali Sulina

The recent history trip to the Churchill War Rooms was an immersive experience and it was impressive how the chambers and corridors had been meticulously preserved. The Map roomputs you face to face with the scale and impact of the decisions being made. The stark contrast between the offices and map rooms and the idiosyncratic detailing of the living quarters demonstrated the extreme experiences of humanity, often painting peculiar and perplexing pictures. I was awed by the deathly seriousness and absurdity of war, from the juxtaposition of the pink lace cushions in Mrs. Churchill’s room, to the colour-coded pins on  the maps; representing millions of troops lost troops.

Philippa Cummings Cook

The History trip to the Churchill War rooms was both entertaining and enlightening. After we first descended into the depths of Whitehall we began on a walk through the rooms. Starting with the war cabinet (apparently in mahogany) and moving onto the dank bomb shelters, we witnessed a representative cross section of what it would have been like at the time. Bombarded with facts such as the rooms were only 10 metres below ground, we entered the  cafe, a bright bustling place located directly in the middle of the tour; practical for a mid walk snack. As we continued onwards, we saw the bedrooms and map room, as well as the engineering marvel that was the slab. Once we emerged into daylight the memories added to a rich tapestry of historical experiences.

Alya Su Celebi

My overall experience of the war rooms was very pleasant. It was eye opening to see the room where the important decisions Britain made during WWII were made. Another highlight was seeing the bed chambers of top members. It was a highlight because seeing the small rooms that would have been filled with smoke without windows brought out another level of empathy for the British war effort and made me respect Britain even more. I will be able to incorporate this into my history studies because it helped create a visual of the British war effort in WWII.

Luca Alberio,

This mesmerising flashback to what it was like during the war increased the extremely volatile nature of the 1940’s. The packed underground systems gave us a sense of urgency     and pressure like workers who stood before us. The sharpest moment of interest for us was the maps room which encapsulated the war strategy and how it was implemented.The biggest educational take away from this would be the day to day running of the bunker.

Gabrielle Diamond

Both informative and celebratory of Churchill and his contribution to the War effort, the War rooms themselves painted an almost complete picture of life underground and the different roles and positions everyone had to fill; both men and women collaborating. The most educational part was looking at the map rooms which were instrumental and demonstrated the camaraderie that was formed.

Sophie Lamont

The Winston Churchill war rooms helped us to enter the minds of those in the cabinet co-odernating the Battle of Britain. The underground bunker was extremely small and I was shocked that up to 500 people worked there within 6 years. The rooms were also extremely small and filled with top-secret information and recollections of life in the bunker. I found the map room extremely interesting as it showed the plans to invade and also showed the progression of the war. Overall I found the museum as well as the area really interesting as it held remnants of WW2 as I saw the stamina and effort of the British army to destory the axis powers and protect their people.