The 11th of November, Remembrance Day
Today in class, we were reading an excerpt from “Carrie’s War”. It was written in 1973 by Nina Bawden. It is set during the Second World War and follows the story of two children, Carrie Willow and her younger brother Nick who are evacuated to Wales for the duration of the war. They stay with the bullying shopkeeper Mr Evans and his gentle but weak sister, whom they call “Auntie Lou”. They arrived with a luggage tag on their coats and a little brown suitcase each. We have a replica of one of these suitcases in our school.
After our story, I dusted off our little 1940’s child’s suitcase and all our pupils were dying to see what was inside. It held a cloth satchel, a gas mask, children’s games, money, etc
We looked at an old ration book and an identity card. We discussed how the ration book worked and all about the food shortages.
We read some letters from children evacuates to their parents back in London. The pupils of our school were amazed, first by the hand writing, but most importantly by the content, the news, the love and safe prayers in the letters.
The pupils played with the spinning top and yo-yo. There was also a bag of marbles in the suitcase. They were amazed by the actual gas mask which we have in the suitcase and wanted to know how it worked. Some wanted to put it on.
We continued our lesson about World War 2, learning about the English bomber plane, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, named “Taint a Bird”, which landed in White’s Marsh, just outside Clonakilty, Co. Cork on April 4th 1943. The plane had strayed off course, fuel was running low and it had to make a forced landing. Did you know they actually had to build a mobile runway in the field to get the plane out? The only fatality of the flight was Tojo a little monkey who died soon after landing. Local legend has it, that he was buried behind Donovan’s Hotel in Clonakilty.
Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day to remember those in the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of World War I.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.