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A Year 5 Class Post

WW2 Evacuees – Trip to the British Schools Museum

September 1st, 1939

After the outbreak of World War Two, as recently declared by our Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, the children were evacuated from London to Hitchin. With their gas masks and name labels at the ready, they waved goodbye to their life and to be transported to a safer environment at the British Schools Museum. Here is a recount of our trip:

At the British Schools Museum in Hitchin, we learnt and had an experience as an evacuee. To start the day, we walked into a cold hall and told about the experiences of the day by a lady called Rosslyn. Then, we were introduced to a new host and she was going to be our teacher for our ‘old’ lesson. She took us line by line into the old, English classroom. We each sat down at a desk. On the desk was a place to rest your pencil/ink pen and there was also an ink well where you would dip your ink pen. When talking to the teacher, you had to call her β€˜Miss’, we had to be silent and obedient, just like the children during the 1940s…

First, we tried on the gas masks and were told about how to wear them and why then we had scratchy ink pens which we had to use to write a postcard to let our mothers in London know we had arrived safely in Hitchin.Β  After writing, we had to blot it dry. Next, we did arithmetic where we learnt about old units such as pounds (Β£), shillings (s) and pence (d). We did some calculations on some brown paper as there was a shortage of books. After maths, we looked at planes. We looked at the British planes – Spitfires – and the German planes – Focke-Wulf – and how if there was a red and blue circle on its wing it was a British plane, but if it had a cross it was German plane.Β  Finally, we were transported back to 2018 and left the classroom to do another activity.

Once we had left the classroom, we came to look at WW2 items like the gas rattle or bullet cartridges and learnt about what life was like when every family had to ration and the rationing rules! We saw the exact amount of tiny meat, butter, bread, eggs that had to last a family a week…

After that, we were taken down into the air raid shelter – which was freezing cold – and were taught about how children entertained themselves if they had to be down there for hours. Finally, after some lunch, we were taken outside by Sir to participate in Physical Education which included stretches, following marching commands and a salute.

What a fabulous day we had in the past as historians, we lived like an evacuee child and reflected on how it would have felt!







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