SWWEC Logo - The Centre Needs YOU!Become a Friend, The Second World War Experience Centre  in the near Leeds in UK  exists to document the life in those times of anyone who lived through the 1939-1945 years.

Become a Friend!  The Centre Needs YOU!

More than nine thousand people, men and women from many nations who lived through those turbulent times and whose recollections  form an important part of the social history of the world; now have their own life remembered  in the Centre through original documents, photographs, memorabilia and voice or video recordings.      It is an international archive keenly concerned to welcome contact with people who might be able to contribute to and benefit from the Centre’s work.

The Second World War Experience Centre was supported Financially at its formation by a group of Benefactors, several of whom continue their support to this day

Much of the work in gathering, conserving,  cataloging  and researching  the Archive is done by Volunteers. Housing of the Archive, digitising, cataloging  and conservation materials and a very small paid staff necessary to support the Charity, assisting research and enquiries is funded entirely by charitable donations and bequests.

Our sincere thanks to those who support us – PLEASE join them

Become a Friend of the Centre , make a small monthly,  or a single annual donation and know you are supporting SWWEC,  working hard to keep and grow this wonderful educational resource.  Saving the lives through their memories,  of those who lived through World War Two.

If you would prefer to make a single donation and not become an ongoing Friend of the Centre then we would welcome that too.  You can donate securely online from any page on the website via the “make a donation” graphic or we would be pleased to receive a cheque by post.

Why not make a gift of a Friend membership to someone you know who is interested in the WWII period or Social History?  Simply complete the information with their name. There are extra friends only items on the website, reduced price back copies of the journal and free copies of future Journals    to give you a window  for Friends on what we hold in the Centre.

Click the SWWEC Logo  to Become a Friend and join us!

Become a Friend, SWWEC Logo
There are at best less than 10 years left for us  to collect and conserve WWII material and memories,  before a great deal of the material and certainly the personal testimony will have been lost. This creates  the urgent need for help in identifying and preserving material and capturing oral memories, before they are gone forever.  The memories of anyone in whatever capacity that lived through these times, including as children, military , civilian at home, conscientious objectors, etc .

If you have Second World War documentation, memorabilia or memories – either relating to your own wartime experience or that of a family member or friend – we would be delighted to hear from you.

We have for the last 14 years been ensuring that these memories are conserved, properly cared for, and used in education and research.

Typical items in the collection are:

  • Archives (e.g. letters, diaries, log books)
  • Photographs and drawings
  • Medals and citations
  • Ephemera (e.g. cigarette cases, trinket boxes, soldiers’ ‘housewives’ etc.)
  • Books (published volumes are held in our library)
  • The Centre also has circa 5000 oral history interviews and a small collection of video material.

Please contact us if you, a relative or friend has wartime memories or documents, photographs etc that might enhance the ‘picture’ of the time of World War Two held in the archive.

Thank You

Please Contact Us

SWWEC LogoThe Trustees of
presented their



Lectures 2015  Completed



Sponsored by


JAMES HOLLAND          ‘The War in the West: Germany Ascendant 1939 – 1941’

Tuesday 6th October 2015      –  Sincere thanks to those who supported a lively and enjoyable lecture.

James Holland is a historian, writer, and broadcaster.  The author of the best-selling Fortress Malta, Battle of Britain, and Dam Busters, he has also written nine works of historical fiction, five of which feature the heroic Jack Tanner, a soldier of the Second World War.  He is currently writing a three-volume new history of the Second World War in the West and a book about the Defence of the Admin Box in Burma.  He regularly appears on television and radio, and has written and presented the BAFTA-shortlisted documentaries, Battle of Britain and Dam Busters for the BBC, as well as the Battle for Malta, Cold War, Hot Jets, and Normandy 44. Co-founder and Programme Director of the hugely successful Chalke Valley History Festival, he has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum, and is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


DR NIALL BARR             ‘Yanks and Limeys: Alliance Warfare in the Second World War’


Tuesday 20th October 2015     –  Sincere thanks to the Lecturer, those attending and SERCO our Sponsor.

Dr Niall Barr is Reader in Military History at the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. Educated at the University of St Andrews, he has previously taught at St Andrews and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He joined Staff College in 2000, where he teaches on a wide range of military courses.  He has conducted battlefield tours and staff rides all over Europe. He is currently the Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course.  His main research interest concerns the fighting methods of the British Army in the twentieth century but he also has an enduring interest in the Scottish military tradition. His next major work Yanks and Limeys: Alliance Warfare in the Second World War has just been published by Jonathan Cape Ltd.


The Centre is very pleased to have presented the Lectures at The Royal Air Force Club, a stunning building which offers luxurious and peaceful surroundings to serving and former serving officers of the RAF and Allied Air Forces.


Having opened its doors in 1922, the Club’s interior has been enhanced to its present high standard. With striking paintings, a specially designed stained glass window and the very unique badge corridor, a truly fascinating history comes alive about the story of the Royal Air Force.

Our Wartime History  WWII Timeline section aims to provide a rich and varied source of information on the various campaigns fought during World War Two and the dates on which they took place.