Another day, another English Breakfast to perk us up after seeing Les Miserables, then it was onto the greatly anticipated Imperial War Museum, which we had seen previously on our bus tour from a distance. We had also heard the interesting tidbit that previously the building housed an insane asylum, and because of its name, Bethlem, and the poor conditions that is where we get the word bedlam.
First we had to get there and the method of transportation this time was the London Underground, or more commonly referred to as the Tube. What was interesting is that we had to transfer at a station called Picadilly Circus and at the museum there was a part where they mentioned the trench names. One of them was Picadilly Circus which they said was probably named that way because the troops were missing home.
The exhibit was quite thorough so we might make a larger post of the museum detailing everyone’s favorite part after the trip. For now here are a couple pictures of the different sections and a picture of a few members of the group in the trench they recreated at the museum.
It was back to the hotel after that for lunch, again using the Tube and passing by Picadilly Circus, which now held greater significance. After lunch we took the tube again to the station near St. Paul’s Cathedral to explore around there for the afternoon. Everyone had their own choice of what to do and some went to the oldest pub in London, Le Cheshire Cheese, and apparently dropped some dough at a tea shop named Twinings. I’m not sure if they found anything of World War I significance because I went along with the group heading to St. Bride’s, which unfortunely is undergoing restoration. However, we did still get to see the ancient chapel and foundations downstairs. Most of church’s history dealt with the archeological finds, its destruction during the Great Fire and WWII, and the subsequent rebuilding, not to mention its intricate history with the printing press. While not war related I thought I would show you a picture of the ancient Roman road they found while they excavating after WWII just because it is really neat (please pardon the bad camera work I am actually taking a picture of a mirror that is looking down on the road).
In the chapel there was actually a plaque with WWI and WWII journalists, I believe, with the associated press and the evening standard. St. Bride’s and the street it is on each have a long history with the printing press, booksellers, and newspapers. Other than that there were no more significant things we saw about WWI for the day. We had fish and chips and either a chocolate cake or apple crumble (the more traditional English choice) for dinner at the North Sea Fish. Then parts of our group either went out for the night or tucked in for some much needed rest. The next day is a free day in London so there is no set thing that everyone is doing, but I will probably post what the people with Professor Ben Leubner did. Thanks for reading and sorry about the late post; however, we are able to get pictures up now so the earlier posts have been updated.