On taking a short break from studying WW2 within their topic of Wartime Britain, Class 13 moved their focus to WW1 and the commemoration of the Armistice. To help emerge themselves in to the lives of young soldiers we visited Cornwall’s military museum at Bodmin Keep.
The children learnt all about how the keep was used to train and house recruits who later went onto fight in France and Belgium as part of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry before housing visiting G.I Joes in the lead up to the D-Day landings in 1944.
The building was rich with British Military history and a plethora of artefacts and replicas to explore and discuss including; Mary tins, a present from Princess Mary to serving soldiers in 1914; genuine WW1 clothing, helmets and boots; food stuffs from the time of WW1, including a VERY hard tac biscuit; and soldiers personal possessions, such as boot polish, button polishers and shaving kits.
After exploring the museum the children had chance to join the regiment, armed with their rifles (very much wooden replicas) they marched towards the enemy and took their place in the trenches and awaited the call to climb. On their lucky escape from the trench, the children sat and read some of the life stories of soldiers who left Bodmin and served, some not so fortunate to return.
After lunch we entertained two veterans, messers ‘Spanner’ and ‘Kelvin’ who taught us some basic knot skills and some far more important team building, leadership and communication ones too. The children learnt how to tie a ‘highway hitch’ before competing in a team drill to crown the fastest and best platoon in the regiment!
A truly awe-inspiring day where many of our current day to day difficulties were put into persecutive, from here we will be writing some remembrance poetry and letters from the trenches, so keep your eyes peeled for post from the Somme.