IWM Duxford and The Captain Tom Foundation are set to unveil a new display celebrating one of 2020’s iconic personalities – Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Captain Sir Tom Moore at the finishing line of his fundraising charity walk. Picture: The Captain Tom FoundationCaptain Sir Tom Moore at the finishing line of his fundraising charity walk. Picture: The Captain Tom Foundation

Families will not be short of entertainment at IWM Duxford this October half-term – October 24 to November 1 – with the opening of the new Captain Sir Tom at 100 display.

A host of other activities will be available throughout the week, kicking off with the chance to join Duxford’s very own spy school, with codes to crack and missions to complete in Spies & Disguise.

Saturday, October 24 will see the unveiling of a new display in IWM Duxford’s Land Warfare Hall, which will celebrate Captain Tom, who captured the nation’s hearts during the coronavirus pandemic with his incredible fundraising efforts.

The Captain Sir Tom at 100 exhibit will feature a selection of 100 cards he received on his milestone birthday, donated to the Cambridgeshire museum by Captain Sir Tom and his family.

Captain Sir Tom Moore as a second lieutenant, c. 1941. Picture: The Captain Tom FoundationCaptain Sir Tom Moore as a second lieutenant, c. 1941. Picture: The Captain Tom Foundation

Visitors can see some of the creative designs and heartfelt messages which were sent to the former British Army Officer, who was also appointed as IWM’s first honorary patron earlier this year.

A specially recorded video message will also be screened with Captain Tom and his family expressing their overwhelming appreciation for all the well wishes he received on his 100th birthday.

Visitors to the display will also have the chance to learn more about the Burma campaign, in which Captain Tom served, in Land Warfare’s The Forgotten War permanent exhibition.

Hannah Ingram-Moore, Captain Tom’s daughter and co-founder of The Captain Tom Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to have partnered with IWM Duxford on this display and would like to once again thank all those who took the time to write all the wonderful cards and messages we received.

Captain Sir Tom Moore pictured with an armoured vehicle and fellow soldiers. Picture: The Captain Tom FoundationCaptain Sir Tom Moore pictured with an armoured vehicle and fellow soldiers. Picture: The Captain Tom Foundation

“As a family, we felt that IWM Duxford’s Land Warfare Hall was the perfect location for this display as visitors will also be able to find out more about what military personnel, like my father, endured during the Burma campaign which is an often overlooked aspect of the Second World War.”

Visitors to Europe’s best-preserved Second World War airfield can find out what it was like to fight in the jungles of the Far East, menaced by severe weather and constant threat of disease.

In the Land Warfare Hall you will discover a fascinating collection of items, including the khaki Aertex green bush jacket worn by British and Commonwealth troops to help regulate body temperature while fighting in these harsh and humid conditions.

IWM curator Sean Rehling said: “When talking about the Second World War, the Burma campaign is an aspect which barely features in our public consciousness.

Some of the many thousands of cards Captain Sir Tom received for his 100th birthday. Picture: The Captain Tom FoundationSome of the many thousands of cards Captain Sir Tom received for his 100th birthday. Picture: The Captain Tom Foundation

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“The unforgiving terrain and oppressive heat meant that it was a particularly brutal theatre of war where disease and malnutrition were rife.

“We hope that, through their visit to the new Captain Tom display, visitors will go on to gain a deeper appreciation for the contribution made by the British Forces in the Far East, made up of the British Indian Army, Gurkhas and other Commonwealth troops.”

Throughout half-term, IWM Duxford will be giving families the chance to take part in an array of activities, challenges and missions across the site.

Captain Sir Tom at 100 will be on display in the Land Warfare Hall at IWM Duxford. Picture: IWMCaptain Sir Tom at 100 will be on display in the Land Warfare Hall at IWM Duxford. Picture: IWM

These include a new Spies & Disguise family activity, taking place on Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25, inspired by Puffin’s Find The Spy book.

Families will be tasked with mastering the art of disguise, tackling an assault course and cracking codes in order to complete their secret mission.

Throughout the week, a range of other family activities will be taking place, including the chance to delve into the mystery behind why so many American Air Force pilots crashed in the 1940s in Cockpit Control and learn the principles of flight at Flight Academy by designing the perfect paper plane.

Groups can also step into the role of Aeroplane Investigators and join a team of expert conservators to discover what it takes to protect Duxford’s world-famous aircraft, including searching for microscopic beasts burrowing in the pilot’s seat.

Visitors can also learn about the biggest invasion in history during an interactive storytelling experience in Family Mission: D-Day Edition.

To find out which activities will be taking place at IWM Duxford, refer to the display board at the Visitor Planning Point on arrival which will include an up-to-date schedule.

For more, visit www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford