17 January 2023
Tickets are now on sale for the inaugural IWM History Festival, a two-day event taking place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March 2023 at IWM Duxford.
The event showcases IWM’s extensive collection of historic items alongside the expertise of IWM curators and features book signings from leading historical authors, object handling sessions and the opportunity for visitors to engage with veterans of conflict.
Telling stories from World War I and II, and periods of contemporary conflict, the IWM History Festival will give audiences the chance to choose from a packed line-up of expert talks, author signings and themed sessions to build their own immersive, history-filled programme during their visit. Taking place amongst the historic surrounds of Duxford, sessions include bestselling author Damien Lewis’s SAS Brothers in Arms talk on the riveting birth story of the SAS, award-winning author and broadcaster Clare Mulley’s talk about the only two women to fly for Hitler and hear first-hand from a Royal Navy veteran about his experience as a fighter pilot in Afghanistan.
Alongside these well-known names, IWM’s own expert curators will be leading talks on topics such as HMS Belfast and the Arctic Convoys, Black Americans in Britain during the World War II, behind the scenes from Churchill War Rooms and stories of how IWM was founded in the midst of World War I. Other events will include the opportunity to get up close and look inside the cockpit of the Avro Lancaster and Spitfire N3200, as well as the special screening of the film, The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks (1917), showing the epic struggle of the British army against the Germans in 1916. To see the full programme please visit the website.
Adrian Kerrison, IWM curator and speaker at IWM History Festival, said, “I am delighted to be taking part in IWM’s first History Festival alongside a fantastic line-up of history experts, authors and witnesses to conflict. Through my session on the first Spitfire Squadron, I will delve into the history of RAF Duxford, the home of the operational Spitfire, and tell the story of 19 Squadron who were amongst the first fighter pilots to fly this iconic aircraft to ensure it was ready for war. I look forward to welcoming visitors to this first event of its kind at a site where real history happened.”
Iain MacGregor, author of The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of WWII's Greatest Battle, said,” As a publisher of military history, Duxford has meant a great deal to me over the past 30 years. I have chatted with Battle of Britain veterans marvelling at seeing their beloved Spitfire flying above their heads, and spent many hours at shows, seated behind my publisher's table answering questions from book buyers. Now, as an author in my own right, I am now very much looking forward to engaging with lovers of modern military history at the upcoming IWM History Festival. Their collection is unsurpassed and by combining it with an impressive range of speakers, it will be one of the standout history festivals of the summer.’
Tickets to IWM History Festival are £40 per day. Please note that attendees who wish to visit IWM Duxford in between the sessions may purchase a separate discounted general admissions ticket for just £8.
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