Photo Gallery: Hellesdon playing field becomes a First World War farm

Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School children enjoy a wartime farm at their school. From left, three five-year-olds, Darcy Saddleton, Freya Waterfield, and Amelia Potter with their lunch. Picture: Denise Bradley Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School children enjoy a wartime farm at their school. From left, three five-year-olds, Darcy Saddleton, Freya Waterfield, and Amelia Potter with their lunch. Picture: Denise Bradley

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
2:01 PM

Life on the land during the Great War was reenacted at a Hellesdon school as youngsters donned their overalls ready for work.

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Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School children enjoy a wartime farm at their school. Charlie Ives, 5, and Sarah Giblett, 5; with Amy a three-month-old lamb. Picture: Denise BradleyArden Grove Infant and Nursery School children enjoy a wartime farm at their school. Charlie Ives, 5, and Sarah Giblett, 5; with Amy a three-month-old lamb. Picture: Denise Bradley

The playing field at Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School was transferred into a wartime farm yesterday as century-old history was explored.

The 120 children aged three to seven went prepared in Edwardian costume as the year one class shared with rest of the school what they have been learning about First World War and the land army girl Olive Crosswell.

From the Suffolk Punch heavy horse and a petting farm with a chicken, a sheep and a pig, to archive photos of life a century ago, the youngsters got a real taste for the past.

Alison Wright, class teacher and organiser of the day, said: “We are bringing history alive for the children.

“It’s not only about learning something from a textbook but giving them a chance to see for themselves what life was life.

“The project is about commemorating what happened in history and remembering what others have given us.”

The day was part of the To End All Wars project, a Norwich Theatre Royal-led scheme involving children from four different schools.

During the First World War more than 20,000 women like Olive Crosswell were recruited to work on the land to help replace the men who had left to fight on the battlefields.

Rebecca Quinney, 6, in year one and from Hellesdon said: “Olive Crosswell wanted to help her country. She didn’t want it to be in danger.

“If I was back in 1914 I think I would do that for my country.”

The school children’s experiences will form the basis of a special performance at the theatre in August.

Headteacher Daniel Thrower added: “The children are going to remember this because it’s interesting and gets them motivated.”

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