The history of two world wars came into sharp focus last month when Ms Kenward and her team took 40 enthusiastic Year 9 GCSE History students to the Imperial War Museum in London.
The students undertook three different tours: one was a tour around the World War One Gallery, which included a visit to a recreated trench and seeing a dead boar’s head that used to be a mascot! Another tour was around the World War Two gallery, where they saw bombs, aircraft and other amazing historical items – even a boat from D-Day!
The final tour was of the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, which showcased amazing stories of men and women who gave their lives in the wars and who completed incredible feats, such as digging with their bare hands to free survivors of a street in London destroyed during the Blitz. Students also got to visit a house from WW2 and sit in a bomb shelter!
Student Jerry explained, “It was really interesting to experience a bit of what the soldiers would have gone through. Being in a wet, muddy trench, with rats, must have been really horrible.” He continued, “I enjoyed the medal displays very much. Each medal told a story – one I remember was about an aeroplane that was brought down and the woman inside it threw herself on top of another airman to shield them from the blast just before it exploded. That was a very brave thing to do.”
The trip was really interesting for the students, who were fortunate enough to also enjoy a rare opportunity to sit in the grounds of the museum to have a picnic in the sun! Student Mackenzie told us, “I really enjoyed being able to wear the uniform and spend some time in the trenches. It would have been pretty uncomfortable for the soldiers – the trench is really dark and places to sleep were very cramped. The uniform was quite itchy and the helmet was really heavy. There would have been planes flying over and gunfire too, so it must have been hard to get any sleep.”
Thank you to all the wonderful staff who helped support the trip – Ms Kenward, Mrs Hewitt, Mr Thomson, Miss Perrono, Ms Rhodes – and for the students who attended – they were marvellous ambassadors for Longhill High School.