Shute pupils experience dark days of gas masks - and Spam sandwiches!

PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:01 07 February 2017

Shute pupils dressed as wartime evacuees  about to board the tram. Picture CHRIS CARSON

Shute pupils dressed as wartime evacuees about to board the tram. Picture CHRIS CARSON


Pupils from Shute Primary School re-enacted the wartime evacuation of thousands of children from England’s Luftwaffe-targeted cities to live with host families in the countryside.

They dressed in 1940s’ clothes and were equipped with the essential ‘gas masks’ and address labels as they caught a tram from Seaton to Colyton.

Even their lunches were authentically wrapped in brown paper - some even had Spam sandwiches!

Seaton Tramway kindly provided the transport free of charge and when the children arrived at Colyton, they talked about how they felt waiting for the ‘host family’.

The youngsters then walked two-and-a-half miles back to Shute, many of them surprised to hear that this distance would be quite normal for children in the 1930s and ’40s, walking to and from school.

Clare Rinaldi, head of teaching and learning, said: “It was an excellent experience for the children, who were able to really feel what it may have been like for children in World War Two.

“Making history come alive will hopefully help them remember the events in WW2.”

Seaton Tramway marketing manager Bracken Stockley said they were happy to host and provide the transport and that it was a superb opportunity for the children to really experience what it may have been like to be an evacuee.

If you were evacuated to Dorset or Devon in the war, please contact as the school would love to hear about your experience.

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