Imperial War Museum Visit Class 3

2nd June 2013

On Wednesday 22nd May Class Three visited Duxford Imperial War Museum. They have been studying life on the Home Front during their History classes this term, and had done lots of reading and finding out about child evacuees living in Britain. On Wednesday morning they set off to Hangar 4 where they explored lots of original artefacts from the Battle of Britain. These included photographs; video footage; aircraft bodies; vehicles, a model Anderson shelter, and lots more. The pupils were working as secret agents in their groups to discover what Winston Churchill had meant by his famous lines: “never has so much been owed by so many to so few.” It was the role of the Secret Agents to investigate the work done by civilians during the Battle of Britain. Then the class was able to discuss how important civilians really were to the war effort. Later that morning, the Secret Agents visited the pre-fab bungalow as they continued to explore the lives of civilians; i.e. where and how they lived. They sketched some excellent details peering in through the windows of the bungalow, and spotted some sinister reflections in the glass.

That afternoon, Class Three turned their focus to the Lancaster Bomber in Hangar One. They sketched it from lots of interesting viewpoints, and thought about the details on the aircraft body. The whole class then explored the roles play by the men and women on the ground that helped to maintain the bomber. They discovered there were lots more people involved besides those who actually flew the plane. Class Three was introduced to the stories of certain special individuals, like Brian Lane and Douglas Bader, and they discussed how it might have felt to have been a ‘tail end Charlie’ in a Lancaster Bomber. They finished their explorations by examining and sketching other WW2 aircraft inside the hangar. All in all, Class Three decided that perhaps Winston Churchill was not entirely accurate when he said, “never has so much been owed by so many to so few”. As a class, all were agreed that civilians during the Battle of Britain played crucial roles on the ground, and helped to ensure the success of the RAF heroes.