Glengormley schoolkids march back to wartime era

Amy Mulholland and Aine Crawford try on the World War Two army uniforms for their special history lesson. INNT23-004-FP
Amy Mulholland and Aine Crawford try on the World War Two army uniforms for their special history lesson. INNT23-004-FP
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GLENGORMLEY Integrated Primary School children took a step back in time with volunteers from the War Time Living History Association.

The group visited the school in authentic uniforms and with a huge arsenal of equipment used during World War II - so large in fact it could have armed and supplied a mini army in itself.

Connolly Mulcahy and Shea McGreevy with Neil Armstrong from the War Time Living History Association. INNT 23-003FP

Connolly Mulcahy and Shea McGreevy with Neil Armstrong from the War Time Living History Association. INNT 23-003FP

Children were able to get their hands on actual - deactivated - rifles used by the US and British armies as well as equipment used by German and Russian soldiers.

The War Time Living History Association, a group of volunteers including war veterans, donate their time freely and organise visits to schools and organisations to help educate people on life on the frontlines.

During the visit to the school the group gave presentations and demonstrations on army life and faced a tough question and answer session from the children.

“Most children in primary school are educated on how the War affected Northern Ireland, like during the Belfast Blitz, and less on what it was like for the soldiers,” said Phil ‘Patch’ Adams from the Association.

Angelika Bohzicwicz (8) of Glengormley Integrated Primary School tries on a WWII gas mask. INNT 23-005-FP

Angelika Bohzicwicz (8) of Glengormley Integrated Primary School tries on a WWII gas mask. INNT 23-005-FP

“Northern Ireland was a key staging point for many American regiments while they prepared for the big push for the D-Day invasions.

“The US Rangers were stationed in Carrick along with many other American regiments during the 1940s and it is important that history is not forgotten.

“We also like to inject a bit of fun into our visits and the children take to it really well.”

Teacher Chris Denver said the visit had really captured the children’s imagination. He said: “They were really excited about this and have taken a real interest in all the equipment and were hooked on every word.

“Learning from a book is one thing, but getting a feel of the equipment and through the presentations and demonstrations that we have had has really captured the imagination of the children.”

Mr Denver said the enthusiasm of the members of the Association also helped to educate the children on wartime experiences.

“Their passion just shines through and that for me just makes it easier to teach the subject,” he said.