One hundred years after the first shots of the First World War were fired, treasured artefacts from the famed Imperial War Museums (IWM) are leaving London for the first time and will be displayed at Melbourne Museum using the latest modern exhibition technology.

The WW1 Centenary Exhibition’s impressive collection of over 350 items will come to life with cutting edge technology. The historically significant collection will be juxtaposed with leading audio and visual displays making the exhibition immersive and experiential. 

IWM London’s permanent exhibition has drawn more than 350,000 visitors since re-opening in July this year. The WW1 Centenary Exhibition is the first international tour from the world-class institution. From April 2015, Melbourne will host the IWM world premiere touring exhibition. Melbourne Museum is its one and only stop in Australia.

The exhibition is broken down into ten story chapters, which will guide visitors through the broad historical sweep of the war from its outbreak through the fighting fronts to its impact on civilians back home. Throughout the exhibition film, animations and soundscapes will transport visitors to the world of 100 years ago – they will encounter the people and their stories. They will also see the fighting and devastation of the first global war and be able to consider how it is said to have changed the world.

In the Shock of War chapter, visitors will be confronted by the sound of an intensive burst of artillery fire, they will see the deliverer of such destruction, a rapid firing German 77mm artillery gun. This gun is typical of the artillery used on both sides of the conflict.

A long row of life-sized cut steel figures provide a sculptural screen onto which wave upon wave of charging men is projected. Motion capture filming and CGI provides a slow motion sequence of man after man charging then falling – a dramatic representation of the 1,000,000 men dead within 4 months.

Running through the centre of the exhibition is a Trench like space, evoking the environment and landscape of trenches with twist and turns, high, steep walls, and the only glimpses of daylight above you.  As people walk through the space, they will come across intimate objects embedded in showcases along the walls, such as lucky charms, shrapnel torn sketch books, drawings – that tell the stories of real people and their fate. Looming above, they will see large animated projections giving a sense of the landscape of trenches, and hear an evocative soundscape of tanks rumbling by, aircraft swooping above and shells bursting in the distance providing an unforgettable and reflective experience.

“It is a great honour for Melbourne to host the world premiere of The WW1 Centenary Exhibition in 2015, the Anzac centenary year. This exhibition provides an opportunity for Victorians and visitors alike to commemorate the First World War and the legacy left by those who served”, said the Hon Ted Baillieu, Chair of the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee.

To buy your tickets, and for further information please visit: WW1 Exhibition.

Groups and schools bookings are available now through Ticketek on 1300 364 001 or email

Official Corporate Hospitality Packages are available now through Ticketek on 02 9266 4466

Open Daily from 10am-5pm

Adult from: $29.90

Junior from $17.00

Concession from $24.90

Family from $80.00

Groups 15 from $22.95

Note: Special pricing applies to Melbourne Museum Members