Calne pupils hear wartime stories from people who lived during the 1940s
12:00pm Sunday 17th March 2013 in News
Children at a Calne school stepped back in time to learn how families coped with food rationing during the Second World War.
Year 6 pupils at St Margaret’s Preparatory School dressed as evacuees for the occasion and played the role of wartime children.
Everyone had to keep their gas masks, identity papers and ration books with them at all times or risk a fine.
Two visitors, each with personal memories of the war, helped add to the reality of living in the 1940s.
Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall discussed thrifty wartime ways to feed a family and youngsters learned how Britain dug for victory by producing home-grown vegetables.
Mrs Fearnley-Whittingstall, who has a grandchild at the school and is the mother of TV chef Hugh, surprised the children with jam tarts that had carrots as their main ingredient. The recipes came from her book The Ministry of Food, published in 2010 in association with The Imperial War Museum.
Margaret Elton, mother of teacher Sarah Chester, spoke about how she was interned by the Japanese in Shanghai when she was the same age as the pupils.
She was held prisoner for three years without books, school or medicine.
The wartime theme continued in other lessons. In English the children wrote letters home describing their wartime evacuee experiences and in music, well-known songs from the era were sung.
Mrs Chester, who dressed in period costume, said: “Everyone particularly liked The Siegfried Line and The White Cliffs of Dover. The day was great fun and the children learned a lot.”