Sunderland World War Two evacuee gives children a lesson in wartime life

Marjory Jackson with Fatfield Academy pupils (left to right) Sophie Kelly, Calum Colquhoun, Lennon Fletcher, Leon Rowe and Amelia Bewick. Picture by FRANK REID
Marjory Jackson with Fatfield Academy pupils (left to right) Sophie Kelly, Calum Colquhoun, Lennon Fletcher, Leon Rowe and Amelia Bewick. Picture by FRANK REID
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Students at a Wearside primary took a step back in time to experience life in wartime Sunderland - with a little help from the Echo.

The Year 6 pupils at Fatfield Academy returned to 1940s Sunderland as part of their class project on the Second World War.

Fatfield Academy pupils Lennan Fletcher (left) and AdamRobertson enjoying their lunch. Picture by FRANK REID

Fatfield Academy pupils Lennan Fletcher (left) and AdamRobertson enjoying their lunch. Picture by FRANK REID

Children arrived in school dressed for the occasion, in 1940s themed attire, greeted by their teachers who were also dressed in period costume.

Throughout the day, youngsters were able to gain real experiences of what it was like to live the life of a 1940s child with their country at war.

Susan Scriven, Year 6 teacher at the Washington school, said the learning opportunities carried on throughout the afternoon session as children enjoyed a carousel of wartime activities, puzzles and games.

She said the highlight was a visit from Marjory Jackson, who grew up in Sunderland during the war and was an evacuee.

Pupils have a deeper understanding of how it must have felt

Susan Scriven

Mrs Jackson even showed the children a copy of the Echo from May 1944, which featured her and other children returning to the city.

Mrs Scriven said Mrs Jackson’s visit gave children a unique opportunity to receive a first-hand account of life in 1940s Britain through the Second World War and she said the pupils were engrossed throughout the session.

The class teacher said: “Our Second World War day enabled pupils to understand what it was really like in the 1940s, creating a stronger connection and understanding of this time period.

“It has been wonderful to see pupils completely and utterly entranced by some of the experiences that wartime children went through during this period of history. The pupils have a deeper understanding of how it must have felt to have been in these situations and have used these feelings to create fabulous descriptive accounts full of emotion and feeling.”

Marjory Jackson enjoying lunch with with Fatfield Academy pupil (left to right) Sophie Kelly, Freya Marshall, Ivy Wang and Olivia Walker. Picture by FRANK REID

Marjory Jackson enjoying lunch with with Fatfield Academy pupil (left to right) Sophie Kelly, Freya Marshall, Ivy Wang and Olivia Walker. Picture by FRANK REID

Staff ensured the day was as authentic as possible, as children experienced an air raid with a Second World War air raid siren and had the opportunity to listen to 1940s music.

Lunch was reminiscent of days gone by, dinner staff wore 1940s themed attire and the lunch menu was true to the period with tasty dishes like mince and bomber dumplings, blitz pasta, corned beef pie, herby bread, carrot and swede mash and potatoes.

The pudding choices were also a big hit with jam roly poly with custard or British biscuits.

Fatfield Academy dinner lady serves lunch to David Holgate. Picture by FRANK REID

Fatfield Academy dinner lady serves lunch to David Holgate. Picture by FRANK REID

Evacuee Marjory Jackson holding a Sunderland Echo front page that shows her on a hospital bed. Picture by FRANK REID

Evacuee Marjory Jackson holding a Sunderland Echo front page that shows her on a hospital bed. Picture by FRANK REID

Marjory Jackson (on the bed) on the front page of The Sunderland Echo in 1944. Picture by FRANK REID

Marjory Jackson (on the bed) on the front page of The Sunderland Echo in 1944. Picture by FRANK REID