FOR the whole of the summer term, class four at Medstead Primary School found out what it was like for children to live through the Second World War – and their research, with each child writing a page, has been turned into a book.
On July 10, the book was launched at Waterstone’s bookshop in Alton, and the copies were all snapped up, thanks to generous parents and friends, which raised money for school funds.
Organised by teacher Jade Carpenter, the children, aged eight and nine, were asked to research the Second World War, the Blitz, evacuation, rationing, bombing and defence, as well as other aspects of the 1939-45 war.
“I really didn’t have to do a lot,” said Ms Carpenter. “This project was child led and each got to write a page and to submit drawings.
“The children also had two trips out to areas where they could get the feel of wartime Britain.
“The first was to Henley Fort, high up on a hill in Guildford which, I think, was used to defend London from incoming German planes.
“The second was to experience evacuation and we took a trip on the Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line and the children arrived with their war time clothes, labels with their names and carrying their teddy bears, just as those children did in 1939.”
The pupils also had a first-hand version of what it was like to be a wartime child when a great gran called Kath told them that, as a child, she remembered being in London with “bombs falling over heads and buildings collapsing”. “It was then that my mother decided it was time for me to be evacuated,” she said.
The finished pupil project was turned into a £10 book, with enough copies for each child, and they were all snapped up at Waterstone’s shortly after launch.
“We didn’t sell them,” said Ms Carpenter, “but asked for voluntary contributions, and everyone was so generous and gave us the full £10 cost.”
Now back in peacetime, the pupils are looking forward to the summer holidays and the money the books raised will go toward school funds.