Primary History KS2: WW2 Clips. Gas mask drill at primary school

A teacher takes her young children through their gas mask drill.

A teacher takes her young children through their gas mask drill.

Gas masks were issued to all children as a precaution against attack by gas bombs. The masks came in cardboard boxes, with a strap for carrying them on the shoulder. Children were instructed to keep their masks with them at all times and were the key item of luggage for evacuees.

Gas mask drill was a daily feature of life at school. The routine for the drill was: i) remove mask from box; ii) put mask on face; iii) check the mask is fitting correctly; iv) breathe normally.

Many wartime children have subsequently admitted that they struggled to take the drill seriously and that their masks were frequently the source of games and much fun.

This recording dates from 1941 and features a teacher instructing her infants to put their gas masks on (...prior to getting their knitting out and listening to a story...!)

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