The Tank Museum | WW2: War Stories Exhibition Update

WW2: War Stories Exhibition Update

Second World War Hall redisplay is nearly complete

20th March 2020

Phase One of WW2: War Stories, which will open imminently, focuses on some key as well as lesser known battles between 1940 and 1944. 

WW2 Hall Vehuicle Moves_055The vehicle moves in November 2019 signified the start of the development for a new exhibition remembering the Royal Armoured Corps between 1939 – 1945. 

Since then, 11 sets of contractors from all over the country have been working in the Museum’s WW2 hall on the redisplay which is nearing completion.  

Central to the exhibition are the personal stories of the men who fought which will be presented through quotes, personal testimony, and objects from the Museum's Archive and Supporting Collection. 

As visitors enter the exhibition, they will be introduced to some of the key individuals, who will feature in both Phase One and Phase Two of the exhibition, before moving through a series of galleries starting with the British Counter-Attack at Arras in 1940 and ending with the Battle of Normandy in 1944. 


Jake Wardrop

Wardrop text imageThe Museum was delighted to accept the donation of Jake Wardrop’s original diaries alongside other objects, including his bed plate. Jake, who served with the 5th Royal Tank Regiment, fought through most of the war, from the Fall of France to the battlefields of Germany, before being killed in April 1945. His diary offers a unique insight into life on the front in the Second the World War and will feature heavily throughout the exhibition. 

“Sometimes I used to think the sun had got us a bit, really it was just high spirits, we had come such a long way and we were going to Tunis now and we were good and we knew it.” - Jake Wardrop, 5th Royal Tank Regiment

Jock Watt

10929-001Another veteran included in the exhibition is Robert ‘Jock’ Watt, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment. Jock served in France, Greece, Crete, and extensively in North Africa, afterwards writing about his time in the war in his book ‘A Tankies' Travels’. 

The Museum was fortunate enough to interview Jock in 2016 and this video will feature in the exhibition, including his incredible escape from a Prisoner of War camp in Greece and leisure time in the North African Desert.

“The ingenuity of people was really quiet remarkable. Like I said about the things they did cooking or what have you, while they were travelling along in tank and we also had these tortoises. The Padre had told the Colonel he’d like to arrange a day at the races, and we had tortoise racing.” - Jock Watt, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment.  

As work on phase one of the exhibition draws to a close, work on the design of Phase Two will begin where visitors will encounter important battles and campaigns from the Great Swan in 1944 to the fall of Germany in 1945.