Opens Wednesday 18 November 2015
PRESS VIEW: 18 November, 8:30 ¡V 10:30am. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
IWM London announces a new display ¡V Fighting Extremes: From Ebola to ISIS ¡V featuring recently acquired objects, behind the scenes interviews and photos, all of which are on display for the first time
This display ¡V the first to tackle and present these subjects in the UK ¡V reveals the little known experiences of British personnel serving on two recent operations: the response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.
Highlights include in-depth interviews with Corporal Anna Cross, and the wellington boots worn by healthcare worker Will Pooley who both contracted Ebola, through to interviews revealing what it is like being a drone operator, and a target depicting an ISIS suicide bomber used for shooting practice when training Peshmerga troops.
Last year as the Ebola outbreak spiralled into an urgent humanitarian crisis, it became clear that only a military contribution could help to provide the speedy response that was needed. Launched in 2014, Operation Gritrock saw over 900 British personnel sent to Sierra Leone to help fight the epidemic, building and setting up treatment centres, providing medical staff and deploying infantry to help with security.
Objects and materials featured include;
„X The wellington boots worn by healthcare worker Will Pooley, the first Briton to contract Ebola and be evacuated by the RAF whilst working in Sierra Leone
„X Filmed interviews with Corporal Anna Cross, a British Army nurse who also contracted Ebola. These reveal what it was like to discover she had contracted the disease, how she coped and the video of her colleagues performing the Sierra Leonean ¡¥Ebola song¡¦, which was performed by the medical teams when a patient pulled through.
„X An improvised hand washing device ¡V known as a ¡¥ Tippy Tap¡¦ ¡V a simple but crucial piece of kit in allowing people to wash their hands with chlorinated water, improving hygiene and reducing the spread of this deadly disease
British forces were also deployed on Operation Shader, the British contribution to the fight against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) in the Middle East, launching air strikes, carrying out surveillance and training local opposition forces against the extremist Islamic group that operates primarily in Syria and Iraq.
Objects and materials featured include;
„X A shooting target depicting a silhouette of an ISIS suicide bomber, which was used by soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales¡¦s Royal Regiment when training local Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
„X The headset used by a Flight Lieutenant of the RAF in the UK when piloting an MQ-9 Reaper ¡¥drone¡¦ which is used to gather intelligence, carry out surveillance and reconnaissance and launch air strikes.
Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces says ¡§18 months ago we called on our Armed Forces to assist tackling the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, which claimed more than ten thousand lives. Working tirelessly, more than 1,500 British troops and medics oversaw the construction of six
treatment centres and trained more than 4,000 Sierra Leonean and international health care workers.
Through their determination and hard work, they have helped to end Ebola in Sierra Leone.
¡§Our troops also continue to play a vital role to help in the fight against ISIS terrorists, by helping train and
equip Iraqi security forces and providing air support, in the fight against ISIS and helping to build capacity
with our coalition nations.
¡§This exhibition gives the public an opportunity to see at close hand what we ask of our Armed Forces, the
breadth of what they do their adaptability and the remarkable work they do in the most difficult
Diane Lees, Director.General of IWM says ¡§The nature of conflict is constantly evolving and since IWM
was founded almost 100 years ago, we have continued to collect and record stories and objects from
those who have experienced conflict first hand. This display, one of the most contemporary IWM has
shown, is a snapshot of the complex roles the British armed forces have today; whether that is working
alongside NGOs to assist in fighting epidemics, to fighting ISIS in the Middle East.¡¨
Visitors can discover how today¡¦s armed forces have to flexibly meet a variety of global security
challenges working alongside coalition partners and civilian organisations.
¡§It¡¦s shifted from an understanding of warfare as a bi-polar affair with two sides fighting each other out to a
massively complicated multi-national, multi-agency security requirement¡KDefence is only a part of
security in this very complex world¡¨
General Sir Nick Parker, retired senior commander in the British Army
With unprecedented access granted by the Ministry of Defence, all of the new objects on display were
collected by IWM directly from personnel who have served on these operations. IWM¡¦s curators have also
conducted interviews and gathered film footage, photographs and other artifacts at locations ranging from
Cyprus to Belfast.
IWM has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Defence since 2009* offering British personnel
an opportunity to record their role and preserve their personal accounts and experiences in IWM¡¦s
unrivalled national collections for future generations.