SECOND WORLD WAR HISTORY COMES ALIVE - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

History comes to life for Year Six pupils at Padnell Junior School tomorrow Wednesday (September 18) as they undergo a Second World War-style evacuation programme, led by their teachers and the Royal Armouries’ education team from Fort Nelson.

The pupils, aged 10 and 11, will learn how children were sent away from their city homes in a bid to save civilian lives from aerial bombardment during The Blitz.

To help add authenticity, the children will handle artefacts from Royal Armouries’ collection, dating to the 1939-45 conflict and learn about Fort Nelson – home to the big guns – and its role in defending Portsmouth during the war.

Second World War role play experiences will be led by teachers and Royal Armouries’ staff in full costume. The evacuees will:

• Participate in an air raid and evacuation to nearby St Wilfrid’s Village Hall
• Dig for victory with the Women’s Land Army
• Try aircraft spotting with the Auxiliary Territorial Service
• Complete drills under the watchful eye of the Home Guard
• Play wartime games

Fort education team member Nicole Heard, who also teaches at the school, said, “This is a great chance for history to come alive in an exciting and meaningful way. The aim is to make the day as realistic as possible, while also entertaining the children and allowing them to handle authentic objects.”

The pupils will arrive for their school day as usual, before being “labelled and sorted” in preparation for the evacuation process to the nearby village hall. They will also read letters sent by their parents, wishing them luck and preparing them for what lies ahead.

They will round off their evacuation experience by tasting rationed food, during afternoon tea.

For full details of all Royal Armouries’ events, please visit

To find Fort Nelson, follow the brown Tourist signs from the M27. The Fort is open seven days a week, from 10.30am to 4pm (winter hours).

Notes to editors

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