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You’ll remember how much we loved the Imperial War Museum and the ‘animals in war’ session when we visited earlier this year – so when we were invited back, we jumped at the chance.

To commemorate 100 years since the start of WW1, the sessions are geared to helping children understand what it was like. The story, which was beautifully told, illustrated just how difficult the conditions were and how ill equipped the soldiers were to deal with such. The tale, featuring two puppets, was about two brothers from India. One was sent to France where it was cold and wet, where he was lying in mud and the difficulties he faced on a daily basis. Whereas his brother was sent to North Africa, to fight in the excessive heat, without shade. The remarkable thing, and something that I hadn’t considered previously, is that both brothers were sent in the same uniform. The same uniform was deemed appropriate for both conditions. Apparently the same thing also happened to British soldiers. One uniform to show where you were from rather than tailored to where they were fighting. Despite this, all the men bravely fought on.

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We then went to make a yo-yo and moved into the main room of the museum to take part in games that children would’ve played 100 years ago; hoop-la, tiddlywinks, a coconut shy and tin-can alley.

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We took a stroll around and enjoyed everything on display. Despite only having visited 6 months ago, we were thoroughly absorbed by it all, proving just how fantastic it all is.

"King and Country need you - and this is how they feed you" The message written on a rock hard biscuit that needed to be mixed with water to make it edible

“King and Country need you – and this is how they feed you” The message written on a rock hard biscuit that needed to be mixed with water to make it edible

We went for lunch to the museum cafe – Munchkin had a ‘ration pack’ (5 items he was able to choose from a selection), Mr sixdegreesofharmony chose fresh sandwiches and I opted for a salmon fillet and salad, which I have to say was absolute perfection! The food is always displayed in a very attractive manner and always tastes delicious.

Once we’d seen everything, we decided to revisit the Air Shard, the 100 foot high viewing platform. The views across the canal are unrivalled – Media City, The Lowry and even a sneaky peek of the Coronation Street set – but the addition of the audio art was brilliant! The sound effect of a Sopwith Bi-plane flying overhead just adds to the experience.

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If you live within travelling distance, I cannot recommend the Imperial War Museum enough. Old and young will be thoroughly entertained and educated in equal measure!

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