Priory Post 27 – Evacuees

Posted: 19th August 2015

Evacuees

Upper II visit Lincolnsfield Children’s Centre

On 30th September Upper II went to the Lincolnsfield Children’s Centre.  Here, Temisan Wyse, Upper II Alpha, tells us about the very packed day.

‘On Tuesday Upper II were taken back in time to 1939 and World War II where we were dressed and treated as evacuees, those children sent out of London to live with families in order to be safe from the bombing.  When we arrived at the Centre we were greeted by our school teacher for the day and were treated in the way an evacuee was treated.

We were shown how to make a chain to pass water along and work a water hose, told what animals people used to eat, how to aim at targets and, finally, we learnt about signals. Next, we made our way to the cinema where people often watched the news and films and we watched the news and learned some facts about evacuation and the war.

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After this my group listened to a man who had been an evacuee.  As we listened it seemed to us that it was a hard job being an evacuee, they sometimes had to work 12 hours a day! He told us that he only ate two pieces of sardines and mashed potatoes every day for the rest of his time in the home in which he was placed.

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Moving on, we rode in a massive World War II Jeep and  I have to say that it was a very bumpy ride! The jeep took us to an area where the blitz was re-created. We entered – it was very dark and spooky throughout the journey and we were guided by another man who had also been an evacuee.  We walked up to where a German bomb had landed and everything had been smashed to pieces, the roof was completely gone. Then we went to the shelter where everyone sat on the benches. At the end of the blitz experience a young man came to tell us about the great fire during the blitz and which buildings had survived.

We then had a tour with Stan who had worked in the Air Command Force and who told us what it was like in the war. Next door to this we had the opportunity to see all the equipment they used back then.  Our group, the Hurricanes, tried on the special helmet and rucksack that soldiers wore in 1939, we even carried a machine gun which weighed 10 pounds!  After that we ate our lunch and discussed what the children of 1939 ate, not plastic packaged food and chocolate, but tinned food and sandwiches. Children back then didn’t have exotic fruit such as pineapples or strawberries.

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As the day drew to a close we participated in one more activity – we went to the family house and were guided round by a lady who told us about all the different rooms and the things people used in World War II.  The kitchen was very different to our kitchens nowadays; they had only a few supplies and it was quite a small place to cook.  Next we went to the bedrooms which were old fashioned and you usually shared your room with your brother or sister.

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We ended our visit by going to the gift shop and found some 1939 games, pencils, chalk boards and beautiful postcards.

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So that was our adventure to ‘Evacuated Children from 1939’ and as we climbed on to the coach to come home we were transformed back into children from 2014!’

Here we have comments from other members of Upper II about their visit to the 1940s:

“The ride in the American Dodge jeep was fun!” said Amy and Sui “enjoyed working the pump to put out the fire caused by the incendiary bomb”.   Meanwhile, Elizabeth commented that “the Blitz Experience was scary but funny because everyone was screaming when they saw a “rat””.

Vanessa said “I enjoyed the 1940s’ house, especially when my entire group squeezed in to the Morrison Shelter”, and Mariam also had a view on shelters “the Anderson Shelter was fun because we all had to rush in when the air raid siren sounded.”

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Meritxell “found it fascinating to learn about the 1940s’ games ( e.g. Bagatelle). It was exciting to work the mangle to dry the clothes” and Liliana said that “it was funny when Anne, the lady in the 1940s’ house, said that in those days teachers would put sticking plaster over pupils’ mouths to stop them putting their fingers in their mouths”.

Juliette found “the Pathé news film about evacuees was interesting” and Lucy says that “Stan told us about how he joined the army; he showed us the soldiers’ rations and the weapons they used” while Melissa said that “holding the MK4 was amazing; it was very heavy for its size”.  Grace McPartlin comments on the ‘bombed’ area, “the size of the unexploded bomb was surprising; the rest of the room was damaged even though the bomb had not exploded”.  Grace Aimable-Lina also found the unexploded bomb of interest, “I found the shape of the UXB really interesting because it was completely different from the usual idea of a circular bomb”.

Haruka discovered the physical life of a soldier was not that easy, “We tried on the soldier’s backpack; it had many pockets and it was really heavy”.

Lucia found that she prefers education in 2014 “going in to the 1940s’ school room to get my Identity card was interesting. I noticed that the classroom had double desks and a large blackboard. I prefer my classroom because it has an interactive whiteboard where I can watch video clips”.

Alice admired the role play of the staff at the Centre which made her feel as if she was living in the 1940s and said that “the teacher was very loud and told us to take our elbows off the tables”.

Upper II enjoyed a fascinating experience at the Lincolnsfield Children’s Centre where the dedicated staff transported the children to a world their grandparents inhabited and enabled them to discover a little about what it was like to live in wartime Britain.

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