London Transport Museum has secured funding to develop a new gallery that will explore the role of London’s transport during the First and Second World Wars.
A new grant of £82,500 from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund is helping to make the gallery possible. The money will support the transformation of an existing display into the new display.
During WW1 around 900 of London’s red civilian buses served as military vehicles, with many serving on the Western Front.
Men from across Britain enlisted as drivers, including many London bus drivers, while women took on a variety of roles previously held by men in London Transport for the first time to keep London moving.
In a precursor of their later role in WW2, between May 1917 and May 1918, Underground stations provided shelter against German air-raids.
Later, at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Frank Pick, the chief executive of London Transport, helped to organise the evacuation of civilians from the Capital.
The Transport Museum says that the remodelled gallery will feature new interactive exhibits and audio-visual displays alongside artefacts from London Transport Museum’s collection.
In the gallery, visitors will discover stories about how London’s transport supported efforts on the front lines and kept civilians safe on the home front. The gallery will also introduce visitors to the people behind these stories.
It is expected to open in spring 2020 ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Blitz.