Attleborough pupils learn about pigeons in wartime

Pigeons were released at Attleborough Academy as part of a project to learn about pre-digital commun

Pigeons were released at Attleborough Academy as part of a project to learn about pre-digital communication. Here, Year 9 student Kayleigh Williment releases one of the birds. - Credit: Archant

They're often considered pests today, but pigeons once enjoyed a far higher reputation.

At least they did among the servicemen and women who trusted them to send lifesaving messages during the First World War.

Students at Attleborough Academy had a hands-on encounter with a quartet of messenger pigeons while learning about the communication in the days before iPhones, the Internet and computers.

Stuart Wardrup, from the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, brought the birds to the school from the Queen's pigeon loft at Sandringham.

Deputy principal Izzy Mair said: 'He gave us an amazing presentation about the pigeons and how they were used in communication in the First World War.

'For example, they were used to let people know when a tank broke down, or they were dropped from planes by parachute so that spies could spend them back with messages attached.'

The students also went to a presentation about First World War communication by Neil Storey at Attleborough's Bridewell Museum.

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The Pigeon Post project is run by the community interest company Eastern Region Media.

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