Stratford St Mary Primary School pupils experience life as wartime evacuees

Three girls linking arms dressed in wartime evacuee clothing

Children from Stratford St Mary Primary School experienced life as wartime evacuees - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Pupils from Stratford St Mary Primary School have experienced what it’s like to be an evacuee in World War Two. 

The Year 6 pupils from Stratford St Mary Primary came to school dressed in wartime attire and visited Ipswich Museum where they took part in air raid shelter building and Morse code workshops. 

The pupils then went to Sprougton to The Shed’s 1940s tearoom where they enjoyed an evacuee jam sandwich lunch served in a cardboard box. 

Pupils at Stratford St Mary Primary School waving their Union Jack flags

The evacuee lunch was served in a brown cardboard and included a Union Jack flag - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Julie Rivers, Year 6 teacher at the school, explained what the children got up to.  

She said: “The day has been amazing. The activities have been really hands-on at the museum.  

“There was a huge shelter that they had to bolt together and then they set off the air raid siren. They all had to climb inside with their cups and their Tilley lamps – that was really good fun. 

“Then we came to the tearoom at The Shed and it’s amazing!” she added. 

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Miss Rivers explained that the pupils have been learning about how the war affected their village and have even been visited by elderly residents at the school who have shared their own wartime experiences. 

Two pupils from Stratford St Mary Primary School wearing wartime clothing

The pupils took part in air raid building and Morse code workshops at Ipswich Museum - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A pupil from Stratford St Mary Primary school wearing a bright red wartime jumper and an evacuee name label

Year 6 pupils came dressed in wartime attire and wore an evacuee name label - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

She said: “We’ve looked at various buildings within the village and how they were used in the war. The most exciting thing was when we had elderly people from the village come into school last week who shared their experiences of the war.” 

Lesley Austin, owner of The Shed, said it was a ‘fulfilling’ experience to be able to share some of the artefacts from the war that she has collected over the years with the school children.  

She said: “We’ve got things they can hold like a gas mask. We have lots and lots of wartime memorabilia that we can show them rather than just looking at it on a screen or a museum where you can’t touch things anyway – it's quite fulfilling.” 

A Year 6 pupil holding a gas mask at the Shed in Sproughton

A Year 6 pupil holding a gas mask at the Shed in Sproughton - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Henry, one of the pupils in Year 6 talked about the evacuee lunch. He said: “It was different to how I usually have lunch but it was very fun though. 

Another pupil, Lottie said: “The best part of the day was the museum and the workshops - we learnt Morse code.  

“We had a piece of paper that told us what the Morse code was and we learnt how to do a dash and dot,” she added.