Children in the second world war


Write down three things that children were told to remember



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Write down three things that children were told to remember.

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This Messerschmitt is a German plane. After it crash landed, people paid money to see it and you can still see where some of them scratched their names onto it.








Talk to your friends.

Would you have written your name on this aeroplane?

Would you have paid to see it?

Why/why not?


There are a lot of figures in this part of the exhibition – find this one and look at it carefully.





Member of the Royal Observer Corps

What is this man doing?


Why do you think he is surrounded by sandbags?

Children in the Second World War

Around the Site



Visit the Historic Duxford exhibition (outside Hangar 3). We asked lots of people what it was like to work at Duxford at different times, including during the Second World War. Listen to some of their stories and write down the name of one person who worked here during the war and one interesting thing that they said.



Find the prefabricated bungalow (on the way to the American Air Museum).






Prefab bungalow
Houses like these can be built very quickly. If you were lucky, you might have lived in one of these after the Second World War. Have a look through the windows.

What things about the bungalow are the same as your house now?
What things are different?


Near the American Air Museum there is a replica (a model to remind us what it was like) of a German V1 flying bomb. British people called them “doodlebugs”.









V1 bomb on ramp

Why do you think we wanted to remember what this bomb was like?





What have you learned today about what life was like for children in the Second World War? Draw or write three things here:

Children in the Second World War Trail:

Teachers’ notes and answer sheet
Using the trail

  • We have tried to highlight the areas of the museum which are relevant to your talk and provide activities for the children to do there – there is no expectation that any one class or group will complete the whole trail!

  • The trail is designed so that if it is printed double-sided, each worksheet will cover a specific area of the museum. You can choose to focus on any or all of:

  • Airspace (Hangar 1) – 5 minutes from the Visitor Centre and where your talk will be.

  • Hangar 4 – 10-15 minutes from the Visitor Centre.

  • Around the site – the furthest point on this trail is the V1 replica near the American Air Museum, 15-20 minutes from the Visitor Centre.

  • If you would like to visit other hangars or cover topics outside your talk, please feel free to browse our other workshops and trails.

  • You are welcome to use images and ideas from these trails to create your own trail – please keep copyright numbers with images where appropriate.


Answers to the Children in the War trail

Most of the questions are open-ended, so generally any reasonable answer will do.


Airspace: The Magister is painted yellow so that it is easily seen and other planes know that they need to give it space. Spitfire 1 pilot, Lancaster 7 crew, Spitfire 1 engine, Lancaster 4 engines, Spitfire four cannon and up to three bombs, Lancaster bombs and 8 machine guns . Phyllis goes on to describe hurting her arm in the air raid (you can find her whole interview on our website here), but children are not expected to guess this!
Hangar 4: The items are an Anderson Shelter, a searchlight and a barrage balloon truck, in that order. Children would have had to remember a number of things including to eat carrots, save food, collect scraps, make do and mend and grow their own food (Dig for Victory). The Royal Observer Corps spotted aeroplanes and reported them to the RAF – the sandbags are to protect him from enemy planes.
Around the site: Douglas Bader, George Unwin and Brian Lane are famous names from Duxford, but there are many others. IWM Duxford collects all sorts of items from wars, even weapons and bombs, to remind us of the effect that they can have on people’s lives.

Key Stage 2: Children in the Second World War






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