Homefront ’40

Operation Pied Piper

It is October 1940, and the Luftwaffe’s bombing raids have switched from military to civilian targets — the Blitz has begun.

1940sHM Government ordered your school to evacuate last autumn, and the children travelled by train to safety in the countryside as part of Operation Pied Piper. The children live in foster homes and will remain for an indefinite amount of time.

Due to school overcrowding, the children attend class only during the morning (local children attend in the afternoon). During class the children learn about war precautions such as war precautions, old money and rationing. The lessons receive reinforcement in the afternoon when the children visit our village shops, including a dairy, a butcher and a green grocer. How far will their ration books get them?

(View our risk assessment for the day’s activities in a new tab.)

By the end of the school workshop, the children should have a good understanding of the cause and effect of the evacuations during the Second World War.

How You Contribute to the Day

To make the most of your children’s day, please help us with the following:

  • Adult helpers: We will need 10 adults to help run the shops in the afternoon. The adults are welcome to watch the morning session, but are not needed to supervise.
  • The school hall: Please reserve the school hall for the full day (it is not a problem if it is used for lunch).
  • Food: Please provide a small amount of food for the afternoon tea room. (It is a very small amount that helps set the scene — you can find details in the booklet when it arrives.)
  • Costumes: Please encourage the children to dress up in simple costumes. It helps them feel the part.


What to Wear

Costumes need not be complicated — we suggest the following “homemade” alternatives:

  • Boys: Collared shirt (with tie, if possible); grey jumper; dark shorts (sports shorts are fine); socks and black or brown shoes (no trainers, if possible)
  • Girls: Collared shirt (with tie, if possible); grey jumper; dark short or pinafore dress; socks and black or brown shoes (no trainers, if possible)


Photos of the Day: