London is a congregation of communities, but many of these communities have had to struggle for inclusion and acceptance. Our LGBT population has fought hard to establish and legitimise its identity over the last 70 years. Badges and pins have been used as signifiers of support for a plethora of gay and lesbian issues, and now act as reminders of past and continuing battles.
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A view of bomb damage from the 1940 Blitz, in the St Paul’s area.
On the night of New Year’s Eve 1940, a London fireman sat down to write a letter to his wife. George Britchford had just come through one of the worst nights of the London Blitz, when devastating fires had ravaged the city and destroyed an area larger than the Great Fire of 1666. His letter, recently added to the Museum of London collection, is a fascinating glimpse into the darkest days of the Second World War and one Londoner’s experience of it.
Maurice Edgar Read, London Museum typist (left) and secretary Harman Oates (right), 1911.
18 November 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme- one of the bloodiest battles in human history, and one that has come to define our mental image of the First World War. Almost a million men were killed or wounded at the Somme, and one of them was the first employee of the London Museum, Maurice Edgar Read.
A screenshot from the Great Fire of London website, showing the fire spreading across the City of London.
In September, we launched our new Great Fire of London website, in partnership with the London Metropolitan Archives, the Monument and the Guildhall Art Gallery. Visitors can experience the gripping story of the fire through an interactive children’s game, a Minecraft experience, and the Explore section of the website, which uses historic maps and objects to tell the story of the fire.