FONFA Trustees John Brooks and Henry Goodall visited New Milton Junior School again on 12th January 2018, for our annual meeting with Year Six pupils. They spent around an hour and a half with the children. talking with them about the airfields in the New Forest, during WWII. John Brooks described his experience of being a young teenager in London, growing up amid the V-I ‘buzz bomb’ or ‘doodlebug’ aerial bombardment. John managed to avoid being evacuated to the country, by staying with a close relative. Henry Goodall gave a PowerPoint presentation on the New Forest airfields in WWII, describing the airfields, their buildings, aircraft and several individual pilots’ stories. The Year Six pupils asked several intelligent questions at the end of the presentations, more than time would permit.
We are always grateful to the Head teacher Kelvin Geary and his staff, who welcome us warmly and continue to support our efforts to spread the knowledge of the airfields to local schools, and to Angie Lilley, who arranges our visits.
Speaking about the children, Henry Goodall said, “This is their heritage. These young people need to know and understand the courage and self-sacrifice of the many thousands of young service personnel and civilians, over seventy years ago, most of them barely out of their teens, who served on the airfields. Without their determination, bravery and persistence, many of the children here today would never have been born, and those living would be second class citizens in a greater German Empire – the Third Reich, which Hitler intended to last for a thousand years.”
In addition, the Trustees showed the pupils model dioramas of both a 52 Squadron Halifax aircraft from Holmsley South, attacking a U-Boat, and of an Albemarle aircraft, based at Stoney Cross, used to supply the French Resistance with arms, ammunition and radio equipment, both from September 1943. The children were very interested to see the medals, which Henry Goodall’s parents had earned in WWII, and asked many questions about them and about the airfields.
The children will now prepare projects, related to what they have heard, as the previous Year Six groups have done, and the Trustees will re-visit the school in February, to assess their progress and view their resulting work.