Farlington’s Prep 6 became evacuees for the morning as they enjoyed a World War II workshop on Monday June 8 with the History Man.
They were all prepared for evacuation, with their suitcases and teddies under their arms. They wore their labels with pride for the experience.
The History Man began his talk by explaining how life was before the war; luckily the artefacts were recognised, from an old fashioned wireless to a Bakelite telephone. The bed sheet in the design of a map of Europe helped the girls to understand how the German army got around the Maginot Line and pushed the French and English troops into the port of Dunkirk and down onto the beaches. The girls loved trying on the different uniforms and they even got to work the baby gas mask.
Just before break we all trooped out onto the field to wind up the air raid siren, put out the fire (aka Mrs Strivens with her umbrella) using an original stirrup pump, and to learn how to drill like the Home Guard. The teachers were most impressed by the way they were able to turn on a circle.
After break Emilia learned how to fire a machine gun, Anisa and Holly found out how hard it was to hit a target at night from 20,000 feet and Evie became a French spy. Cracking the British code was worthy of the Bletchley Park team, as it took a mere 1 minute and 29 seconds, and they were also taught how the Germans were able to locate spies who were sending Morse code messages. This was an action-packed morning, full of facts, which brought the girls’ curriculum to life.
The girls’ knowledge wasfurthered by a Bletchley Park Workshop on Thursday 18th June. It was run by an Outreach Education Officer from Bletchley Park, who brought one of their genuine, working Enigma machines and demonstrated this iconic piece of World War II history. There were also presentations on the history of Bletchley Park, interactive talks on codes and ciphers, and hands-on code-breaking activities.
Report and picture contributed by Farlington School.