World War 2 Talk

Year 5 were incredibly lucky to have a visit from Mr Peter Armitage MBE and Mr Mark McKenzie to talk to the children about World War 2. In addition to the talk, many items (real and reproduction) were brought in which the children were invited to wear, hold, and fire! Pleasingly, we were not short of willing volunteers or victims to demonstrate them. Mr McKenzie, who is of German descent, wore his German Engineers Captain uniform. He then proceeded to speak to the children in a completely foreign language to us all, but luckily Max W was on hand and translated the German to English so we could all understand!

The children then got to look at various British, adult, child and baby gas masks as well as the German versions of the masks. Miss Bennett was even ‘encouraged’ to teach timetables whilst wearing the gas masks.  The masks caused great difficulty due to the suffocating feeling of them and trying to concentrate when reciting timetables was harder than you’d believe! We also got to hear stories of the Blitz and watch as Grandma Eloise, Grandad Ben, Mummy Hannah, daughter Izzy W and son Archie gathered their things to go to their Anderson or Morrison shelter.  This was shortly followed by Warden Waterfield running around the classroom shouting at people to ‘Put that light out!’ and ensure that people were safely tucked under the tables.  A bit of British army drill was led by Captain McKenzie and it soon became clear which children knew their lefts from their rights! Charles in a smart Hugo Boss German army uniform and Grace in an itchy British army uniform shuffled their way around the drill square along with the other children who found marching in time and ‘right dressing’ especially difficult. Finally the children got to handle a German army rifle as well as a British Enfield rifle and found the German weapon much easier to load and fire than the British counterpart. We also got to sound the air raid siren and covered our ears as the end of the air raid clapper was deafeningly sounded.

Heartfelt thanks go to Mr Armitage and Mr McKenzie for their time. Much hilarity, giggles and laughter were heard throughout the morning as well as the children getting to understand and appreciate the serious nature of the bombing, Blitz and evacuation that took place.