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Hainault primary school pupils win prizes for war diaries

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 January 2020

War diaries written by pupils at John Bramston Primary School in Hainault. Picture: David Martin

War diaries written by pupils at John Bramston Primary School in Hainault. Picture: David Martin

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An exciting celebration of curriculum learning has taken place at John Bramston Primary School in Hainault.

To celebrate their writing achievements and further generate real-life links, the two winners of a contextual diary competition were able to read out their diaries to the rest of the school during an assembly, attended by Wes Streeting, Ilford North MP, and members of the Fairlop Heritage Group.

They were presented with a magnificent pen as part of the prizes, which were handmade by Ed Bennett, the son of Len Bennett, a pilot who was stationed at RAF Station Fairlop during the war.

In a blacked out classroom, children listened to an audio of an air raid siren and a bombing raid to empathise what it would be like to experience the Blitz.

The children discussed how scary the sounds were and how they would be worried for friends and family who were not with them. The children used this powerful experience to write diaries of a night in the Blitz.

Here are a few excerpts from some entries:

Dear Diary,

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October 7 1940.

Last night was the worst night of the blitz. My brother and I were playing cards when the air raid siren sounded. We grabbed our gas masks and dashed out of the house…

Dear Diary,

I haven't had a peaceful night since the 7 September.

Every time that ear piercing wail starts, it always reminds me of the rubble from Grandma's house….

Dear Diary. It was late last night when I heard the sirens wailing. Weather was cold and the rain started. I was completely damp before I reached the air raid shelter and could not sleep the whole time I was there. I also jumped out of my skin when the first bomb felt like my neighbours house….

All diaries were well written, thoughtfully illustrated with bomb damage, flags, German and British aeroplanes, hand grenades, medals, poppies, RAF roundels, ration books, remembrance candles, searchlight beams, Spitfires, St Pauls Cathedral, Star of Davids and swastikas.

A joint venture between Fairlop Heritage Group and the school with a powerful experience for the pupils.

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