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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Literary Experience in London 2017: The Churchill War Rooms

The Villanova gang and I took the tube to the Churchill War Rooms early on a Tuesday morning to avoid the crush of tourists that typically flock to the popular museum.  We stepped down into the bunker and were immersed in the world of wartime Britain.  Helpful audio guides led us through the maze of cramped, suffocating rooms while explaining what happened in each spot during World War II.  Specific rooms stood out to each of us: I liked the Map Room, Rowan and Marisa liked Winston Churchill’s bedroom, and Phil liked the disguised room which housed the direct line from the United Kingdom to the United States.

Lisa was particularly enthralled by the Churchill War Rooms, as she is interested in history and politics, and Winston Churchill is one of her personal heroes.  “If I could pick anyone from history, living or dead, and have dinner with them,” Lisa remarked, “Winston Churchill is definitely in my top three.”

Walking through the War Rooms, it was nearly impossible to imagine the large number of people who lived in such a dark, confined place for so long.  Often, we learn only about the important wartime heroes and not the everyday people who did so much to help the war effort.  One of the best parts of the museum was listening to and watching interviews with the regular people who lived and worked in the bunker in various capacities.  To me, they are the true war heroes.

When we finished touring the museum and went to the gift shop, we were amused by pictures of Churchill seemingly throwing up the Villanova ‘V’ and by World War II propaganda pieces and quotations reminiscent of the Villanova fight song.  After a few quick edits, we were able to combine the two.

In all, our visit to the Churchill War Rooms was especially fun and informative, and everyone had a good time while learning a lot about World War II-era Britain.

Rowan Yeni ‘20 and Marisa Sully ‘20 repping Villanova at the Churchill War Rooms - photo: Felicity Petruzzi
Read more posts from the Literary Experience in London 2017 blog here.