War heroes share experiences with Haslemere pupils

PUPILS at Haslemere Preparatory School met some war heroes who visited their school to talk about their experiences.

The three second world war veterans, each representing one of the three armed forces, spoke to boys in Year 5 and 6 boys.

Bill Bailey (RAF), Keith Evans (Royal Navy) and Norman Rogers (Army) had some fascinating stories to tell.

Mr Bailey was a navigator whose Lancaster bomber was attacked by a German fighter while on the way to bomb Germany.

He lost consciousness and was propelled from the aircraft and came to with his partially-attached parachute un-opened.

He broke a bone landing in a wood and then met a farmer who put him in touch with the resistance which was the beginning of a long and stressful escape from Belgium to Spain.

Mr Evans served on HMS Hood, among other Royal Naval warships.

The boys enjoyed looking at models of the Hood and other memorabilia which he had brought with him.

They were fascinated to learn about the final encounter between HMS Hood and the legendary German battleship The Bismark.

Mr Rogers spoke about his involvement in the North Africa campaign as a signalman.

He took part in the campaign that led to the German surrender at Tunis before crossing the Mediterranean and fighting his way up Italy.

Headmaster Patrick Wenham said: “This was a unique opportunity for the boys to hear about history first-hand.

“All three veterans told their stories with great skill and held their audience spell-bound.

“I hope the boys gained an understanding of the courage and character shown by our visitors when, as young men, they faced very difficult situations.”