And the Cabinet War Rooms
History was made in the Cabinet War Rooms—an underground bunker hidden beneath the streets of Westminster—a nerve center where Winston Churchill and his inner circle directed the Second World War. Preserved and opened by the Imperial War Museum in 1984, the War Rooms are a popular London destination. Phil Reed, Director from 1993 to 2016, expanded the Cabinet War Rooms and developed the Churchill Museum, opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005. Phil’s lecture will describe the evolution of the Cabinet War Rooms, alongside the evolution of Winston Churchill from schoolboy, to statesman, and finally to the global icon he is today. Indeed, the Oscar-winning film Darkest Hour, for which Phil served as the historical consultant, put Winston Churchill firmly back on center stage 50 years after his death and lionized him for later generations. Phil will talk about how the film portrayed Churchill as a man, rather than the demi-god he is so often portrayed as today. He will track Churchill’s development, his public persona, and his self-perception, while sharing unique insights into the making of the most successful cinematic portrayal of Churchill to date. He will guide us through the labyrinth of rooms and corridors that sheltered the Prime Minister and his cabinet from the German bombing raids, and explore the highlights of the Churchill Museum to convey the story of Churchill’s life and legacy.
Thank you to our co-sponsors: British Heritage Magazine; St. George’s Society of New York; The International Churchill Society; English Speaking Union (ESU).