History’s animal heroes to come to life as part of IWM’s fun-filled family events for October half term


Stories of real life animal heroes will be brought to life at Imperial War Museums (IWM) this October half term, as IWM celebrates the publication of a new children’s book collaboration with Puffin, Tales of Amazing Animal Heroes (published 10 October 2019).

Written by award-winning author Mike Unwin, Tales of Amazing Animal Heroes tells the heart-wrenching stories of real animals who went above and beyond to save human lives. Using expert knowledge from IWM, and with an introduction by Michael Morpurgo, the book journeys through history from Hannibal’s elephants to a guide dog in the Twin Towers.

Visitors to IWM London and IWM North will get to see some of these incredible animal stories jump off the page. Interactive story-telling events across the two museums will allow families to discover powerful feats of animal bravery throughout history (Animals in Conflict, IWM London, Sat 19 & Sun 20 Oct; IWM North, Sat 26 & Sun 27 Oct, free).

And there‘s a packed schedule of events during the October half term at IWM Duxford, Britain’s best preserved Second World War airfield, and HMS Belfast, the most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship. Both will host plenty of family-friendly activities, including role-playing adventures to discover how each site played its part 75 years ago during D-Day.

A journey through HMS Belfast’s nine decks can reveal the sick bays that took beach casualties on board, and the shell room that supplied over 5,000 shells during Operation Overlord. IWM Duxford was home to a group of US fighter jets and pilots, and tells the stories of D-Day paratroopers in the American Air Museum. Families can pick up D-Day ‘kit bags’ at both IWM Duxford and HMS Belfast, and work together to complete their own D-Day mission.

Other half term activities at IWM include We Were There, an amazing opportunity to hear the personal stories of veterans and eyewitnesses from the Second World War, Cold War, Korean and Falkland Wars. In Ship Shape Saturdays, the whole family is invited to keep HMS Belfast in tip-top condition, while Aeroplane Investigators and Flight Academy, two hands-on role-playing activities, are available at IWM Duxford.

Find out more here>>>

IWM Duxford

IWM Duxford is Britain’s best-preserved Second World War airfield, with a fascinating history that dates back to the First World War. Historic aircraft can regularly be seen taking to the skies from Duxford’s wartime airfield. Duxford has been a witness to world-changing events over the past 100 years where ordinary people have had extraordinary experiences.  Exploring state of the art exhibition halls and historic buildings, visitors walk in the footsteps of the men and women who served at RAF Duxford. Through the powerful stories of the men and women involved and the rich displays of aircraft we tell the story of the impact of aviation on the nature of war and on people’s lives.

Open daily: Last entry an hour before closing. (Closed 24 – 26 December)

Winter hours: 10am – 5pm (27 October 2019 – 13 March 2020) – please note, from 4 – 5pm only AirSpace and the Visitor Centre will be open. All other hangars will close from 4pm.

Summer hours: 10am – 6pm (16 March to 26 October 2019)

Admission: £18.15 Adults; £14.50 Concessions (Senior, Student, Disabled); £9.05 Child (5-16); Free Child (under 5); Family tickets available; Special rates for groups of ten plus. Free for members.

A 10% discount will be offered for advanced tickets booked online.


IWM Duxford offers a unique and remarkable range of conferencing and events facilities, including the contemporary AirSpace Conference Centre.

IWM Duxford