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War stories heard at Kirkley Middle

PUBLISHED: 10:41 03 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 05 July 2010

WARTIME MEMORIES Beryl Small at Kirkley Middle.

WARTIME MEMORIES Beryl Small at Kirkley Middle.

CHILDREN at Kirkley Middle School have been paid a visit from a second-world-war evacuee giving them an insight into a project they're studying.

Beryl Small is the great grandmother of year six pupil Bobbie Small, 10, who thought it would be a good idea to introduce her to the new students in year five at the school in Southwell Road.

CHILDREN at Kirkley Middle School have been paid a visit from a second-world-war evacuee giving them an insight into a project they're studying.

Beryl Small is the great grandmother of year six pupil Bobbie Small, 10, who thought it would be a good idea to introduce her to the new students in year five at the school in Southwell Road.

The children have been researching information surrounding the Blitz, rationing and the home front, and Mrs Small spent Friday afternoon bringing the stories from books to life for them.

Mrs Small, who is now 78, told three classes of children about her experiences and of how she was evacuated from the east end of London to Stowmarket.

During the thought-provoking talk pupils were roused to ask many questions about Mrs Small's experience, seeming visibly shocked when she told them of how she tried to walk back home from Stowmarket to the capital as she didn't enjoy the 12 mile walk back and forth to school.

“I must say I only lasted in Stowmarket for two months and five days, as a nine-and-a-half year old I really objected walking to school,” she told the children.

“We had to walk three miles in the morning, three miles at lunch time as they didn't have school dinners in those days, three miles back again and three miles at the end of the day. I was very naughty and it wasn't a good thing to do. I just decided I didn't want to go backwards and forwards to school so I decided to go home. A soldier under canvas in the fields saw I was walking, he asked me what I thought I was doing and took me back to the army camp.”

Mrs Small also told the children how her home back in London was bombed out twice during the war and how before a bombing the sky used to become incredibly dark.

Coincidentally Mrs Small retired to Lowestoft 14 years ago after bringing her children for holidays at Burgh Castle.

Sharon Ellis, the school's librarian said the event had been planned to give children some first hand experience of the second world war, instead of just learning from books.

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