(left to right) World War Two veterans Alex Franks and Arthur Jones share their experiences with a pupil from John Henry Newman College at Birmingham Airport’s Flight School.
Two Solihull schools had the past brought to life during a recent visit to Birmingham Airport, as pupils came face-to-face with World War Two veterans in a history lesson they’ll never forget.
Learning all about World War Two and the Battle of Britain, students from John Henry Newman College and St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Chelmsley Wood were joined by wartime veterans Alex Franks and Arthur Jones at the Airport’s dedicated education facility, Flight School.
Pupils were given the opportunity to interview Alex, 92 and Arthur, 86, who both served in the British Army during World War Two across Europe and North Africa. The veterans shared their wartime experiences with the children, giving them a glimpse into what life was like during the conflict.
Andy Holding, Community Affairs Manager at Birmingham Airport, said: “We were delighted to host such a fantastic event at Flight School. It was fascinating and moving to see the interaction between the young people and war veterans.
“You could see the pupils gaining a real understanding that these elderly men were once youngsters like themselves and that they had lived through extraordinary times.”
Staff from the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford were also on hand to make the day extra special. Using artefacts which featured during the war, the team helped pupils to learn more about the Battle of Britain and understand why this famous struggle in the sky was so important.
The day came to an end as pupils used their ipads and the Airport’s state-of-the-art facilities to show Alex and Arthur what they had learned about the Battle of Britain, through a series of multi-media presentations.
Daniel Harvey, Director of Community Relations at John Henry Newman College organised the event. He said: “Our aim was to work with our Catholic primary school partners to create outstanding and unique learning opportunities by using the latest technology in an innovative way.”