Imperial War Museum: Lord Ashcroft

Leadership, Sacrifice, Aggression, Skill, Initiative, Endurance and Boldness: the 7 qualities highlighted in this unique exhibition at the Imperial War Museum using state-of-the-art technology alongside real and created artefacts to tell the stories behind the world’s largest collection of Victoria Crosses.

The gallery aims to intrigue and amaze by telling the extraordinary stories behind the medals and exploring the concept of bravery through newly-commissioned artwork, film and photography.


Using video, sound and interactive media, the Lord Ashcroft: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, opened in November 2010, brings to life the compelling personal stories behind the awarding of the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy. The exhibition houses Lord Ashcroft’s remarkable collection of 152 VCs alongside 48 already owned by the museum, and a significant collection of George Crosses; the equivalent civilian award.

The exhibits are installed in plinths, and grouped into the specific attributes demonstrated by the recipients of the medals. A rich combination of interviews with recipients and re-enactments of events, as well as related memorabilia and created artefacts, evoke a real sense of the personal bravery behind the stories.

Sysco carefully integrated AV hardware to work seamlessly with designers Casson Mann’s detailed vision for the exhibition. Source equipment had to be installed into an existing control room 4 storeys below the exhibition, which provided very limited working space and required careful coordination with the in-house technical team.

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