We set off in the rain for our first outing since lockdown to Henley Fort.
We were keen to demonstrate our knowledge gained about WW2 so far. We listened to the nation address, which commenced WW2, and had a lively question and answer session with Corporal Joe. He was very impressed with our knowledge, and we then took part in a practical exercise which involved setting up blockades and trying to identify the spies in our midst. We then lobbed grenades at a tank and practised using our bayonets on a moving target. We charged at the target shouting our favourite things: “Hamster, dog, cheesecake!” – anything to disarm the enemies.
Next, we became Air Raid Precaution (ARP) Wardens, which gave us the opportunity to hear the warning noises that would have been given in a gas attack. Ducking under dark tunnels while shouting “put out that light!”, our group loved running under dim alleyways, trying to find our way through the dark maze. This would be to train us for the blackout, which was an event signalling England to block any light possible. Warden Charlie told us facts that guided us to become these ARP trainees, such as telling us about the different gas masks for different ages and using the gas rattle to make sure we covered our mouths with an invisible gas mask.
One of the activities was putting out the fire. Using an old pump and filling up the bucket with more water, we managed to put out the small fire leaving no smoke. One of the pumps was faulty, so one of the teams got sprayed whilst pumping the water for the hoses, which definitely excited our year group. Most of us were shocked when Warden Charlie explained to us about how the firefighters in WW2 would have had to pump for half an hour or more.
Henley Fort was a fun and informative experience for my team of Home Guards and ARP Wardens, as well as being an outing full of joy and laughter that I will never forget.
Amelie and Emily, Year 6 Journalists
Categories: Girls' Prep School