Previous section
Even boys knitted!

Coping with wartime dangers

All children had to know how to respond to an air raid and school air raid practice. As well as having shelters in homes, air raid shelters were also built in school grounds in case the air raid sirens sounded during school hours. In some cases, children were involved in building their school shelter. Look at this picture of school boys building their shelter


There were also strict rules that children had to follow if the air raid sirens were heard. (Read about the rules for air raids during school hours). Once the sirens had sounded parents weren't allowed to collect their children from school and if children were in school, they had to stay there until the all-clear was given. This interview with Madeleine Scott tells us what an air raid practice was like.


Despite everything that was done to try and keep them safe, sadly some children died in the war. This is the death certificate of a twelve year old boy who died in the Leicester blitz, when he was buried under the wreckage of a bombed building.


Glossary:

Air raid - bombing from enemy planes overhead

Blitz - period with lots of air raids

Death certificate - official record made whenever someone dies

Siren - alarm to warn people of danger 

Wreckage - broken pieces when something has been destroyed


View other relevant resources on My Learning or scroll down for a list of links and resources on this topic. 


See the teachers' notes page for discussion and activity ideas.

First of two photographs showing schoolboys building an air raid shelter
Schoolboys having completed their air raid shelter
Letter outlining air raid precautions for schools
A Civilian Death Certificate for a 12 year old boy