Images of the book’s pages, which contain the signatures of such well-known visitors as Winston Churchill, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, have been put online by the Imperial War Museums (IWM) to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Churchill War Rooms (now a museum) becoming operational on 27 August 1939.
The actual book is on display in Churchill War Rooms, beneath the streets of Westminster in London. On 12 May 1942, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the Cabinet War Rooms, the day after the Luftwaffe bombed and sank three British destroyers. US General Dwight D Eisenhower signed the book on 29 May 1942, the day before the Operation Millennium raid on Cologne.
A powerful reminder
James Taylor, curator at IWM, says: ‘The war rooms are a unique and vital location in our national history, and this visitor book is a visual reminder of the powerful figures that walked its corridors during that period. Their secret visits to this underground bunker are in such contrast to today, with half a million visitors a year. The signatures span royalty, prime ministers and war leaders, reflecting the significance of what was happening beneath the streets of Whitehall, beginning
80 years ago.’
You can view the book here.
(image © IWM, Documents.92)