Air raid siren brings history to life at primary school

Norman Langridge with the air raid siren at Broadwater Church of England Primary School
Norman Langridge with the air raid siren at Broadwater Church of England Primary School

An air raid siren helped bring history to life for pupils starting to learn about the Second World War.

When the blaring noise was heard around Broadwater at 11am this morning, people began speculating that World War Three was upon us.

But headteacher of Broadwater Church of England Primary School, Jeremy Wong, confirmed it was a demonstration to kick off the Year 6 pupils’ new history topic, aptly named When the Siren Sounds.

It was sounded for two minutes, as it would have to signal the start of an air raid, and then signalled the two-minute all clear.

Mr Wong said the demonstration had been organised with the help of the police and fire service, and that the children were fascinated by the experience, asking lots of questions.

He said: “It is vital that our children learn the lessons of history. The worst thing we can do is forget.”

As well as hearing and seeing the siren which was used in the war, pupils also heard from resident Norman Langridge who recounted his experience of the blitz, including surviving a bomb that fell opposite the shelter he was in.

Several Year 6 pupils reflected on the experience.

Fyn Cooper said: “As the motors started to slow I felt a sigh of relief, but I thought to myself how it would have been a hundred times worse for people in the war.”

Lottie Hodges said: “I think it was really important that we heard the siren as World War Two was a huge part of our history. Hearing a siren from that period brings back all of the stories I have heard about the war and how the siren saved so many lives.”

Archie Turner said the ‘booming echoing siren’ made him ‘feel like a boy in World War Two’, and Grace Shearing felt it was ‘a moment of remembrance’.

Mr Wong thanked Phil Hodges of Allianz Engineering for coordinating the event, Harry Pounds from Portsmouth-based Pound’s Marine Shipping for providing the siren and Winner Tool Hire in Dale Road, Worthing for providing the generator to power it.