St. Peter's School: Schooling during World War 2

Extracts from the school log books

Wendy Barlow

It has to be remembered that the school was an “all age “school with pupils staying on until they were 14, which was the end of education for most children.


5th April:  125 Eggs collected by children and sent to Warneford Hospital.

22nd June:  School listened to a broadcast commentary on the arrival of their Majesties the King and Queen at Southampton.They were returning from their tour of Canada.

26th June:  School outing to Weston Super Mare.  22 children, 2 parents and 2 teachers.

29th August:  A meeting of householders was held in the school in order to receive particulars of the evacuation scheme should war break out

31st August:  Information from the Education Office that 65 children and teachers will be sent to Barford C of E school from Stoke C.E Coventry will arrive on Sunday and about 39 persons on Monday. The latter group might comprise of crippled, blind and/or mothers and young children.

1st September:  Notification that all schools receiving evacuees will be closed until further notice

3rd Sept (Sunday):  War declared between Great Britain and Germany at 11a.m.  29 children and 5 teachers arrived here today at 3.0 a.m. All were in good spirits and were given a hearty reception at their billets.

4th Sept:  7 mothers and 15 children arrived and were billeted in the locality. On both days the school has been used for the reception and dispatch to billets of the evacuees.

6th Sept:  The Headmaster and teachers got together to decide how the school would run when it reopened on 11th Sept.

11th Sept:  School reopened after 6 weeks holiday. There were 20 new admissions, 81 re-admissions. The total being 92.Also there were 32 evacuees from Coventry making 124.In the large room 15 Senior girls and 52 Juniors, in the Small room 29 seniors and in the Infant room there were 28.

13th September:  Mrs Rotherham of the Poplars has kindly placed a room at our disposal.Accordingly the group of senior girls, 12 in number, under the charge of Miss Clutterluck of Coventry will work there.

15th September:  Mr Ash HMI visited to see the new working under emergency conditions

27th September:   Supplementary evacuation was carried out today. 2 children received

2nd October:  Evacuating the school. A rehearsal of quick dispersal of the children was held at 11.55am.Every child was off the premises in 30 seconds

16th October:  Senior children visited Forge Cottage .Miss Oldham gave a demo of home canning for fruit

1st November:  LEA approves the taking of additional land for the school garden-an allotment of 605 sq yards

10th November:  Remembrance Day observed at morning assembly

21st November:  Money for Gas mask containers £1-15-7 remitted to Warwick

28th November:  There are now 15 evacuees attending the school

8th December:   Attendance 49%

12th December:  Attendance 53%

18th December:  Attendance 50%.  The school was closed due to Scarlet Fever.

28th December:  The school was inspected by the Sanitary Inspector. It was reopened on 3rd Jan 1940


29th January

There was very heavy snow and attendance was low at only 49%

Children over these years were often away from school or excluded for various reasons including Scarlet Fever, Chicken Pox, Measles, Scabies, Mumps and diphtheria though the latter had been part of an inoculation programme since 1929

8th March

Weather was much better and time was spent gardening.

1st April

81 pupils on roll

The low number of evacuees means that no other teachers from Coventry will be sent

19th April

82 eggs were collected

14th May

In view of the serious development of the war (Holland and Belgium invaded by Germany) School was reopened. (Whit Tuesday)All children ordered to carry Gas masks.

27th May

School was told to expect a further 50 evacuees but this was later found unnecessary

8th July

The school is now organising another collection of salvage, metal, bones and rags with the Warwick Rural District Savage Scheme

(This scheme was still in evidence in 1941when they were asked to save stripped off wall paper under the paper salvage scheme)

27th September

Senior children taken to a Wasperton garden to pick damsons to be canned locally.

30th September

In order to help with the potato harvest boys over the age of 12 are now permitted to work in school hours .Accordingly 4 boys’ work in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. No boy works for more than 5 hours daily.

4th Oct

Work commenced on the erection of an Air Raid shelter in the narrow entrance to the boy’s yard.

(completed by 21st Oct

7th Nov

Films shown by the Ministry of information. Barford WI were the hosts

27th Nov

Clothes have been brought into school by the children for distribution among the homeless Coventry children.

12th Dec

Seaford Ladies (from Westham House) put on a Nativity Tableau in the Memorial Hall. Juniors and Seniors attended.



6th Jan

105 Pupils on roll

31st March

£325 through National Savings. There are now 174 members

16th/17th September

Senior children gathered 119 lbs of elderberries for presentation to the local WI

18th Sept

6 boys released to assist a local farmer for one afternoon a week.

1st Oct

6 senior boys sent to help with the harvest



1st April

The Head and Chair of Managers met with local farmers to discuss forthcoming harvest. As a result it was decided to take the summer holidays in the month of August


2nd September

Junior and Senior children spent the day picking rosehips .This carried on through 14th, 15th Sept




31st March

National Savings-£1135 was invested .178 members

6th Sept

School closed for “Agricultural assistance”

4th Oct

Potato picking

9th Nov

Mr Jordan ARP Officer spoke to the children about the danger of anti-personnel bombs



16th Feb

Senior and Junior children were addressed by a rep of the Ministry of Supply concerning the forthcoming food drive

9th March

Mr Lyne from Warwick District Council and Lieut.Monte from the US Army visited the school. The latter presenting badges to selected children in the current year book drive collection

18th March

Book Drive concluded-4940 books. Average % of pupils on roll-92

19th June

“Salute the Soldier” Nat.Savings campaign concluded. School total £828.7.0

17th July

As a result of enemy air raids on London, evacuees have been sent to Barford.5 being admitted to the school today

18th Sept

Potato picking and rosehip gathering



1st April

The Education Act 1944 comes into operation today.It’s theme is “Equality of Opportunity for all”

4th may

The War in Europe is drawing to a close

8th May

V.E-Victory in Europe.2 days National Holiday

27th Aug

School reopened.80 on roll.During the holidays the end walls of the air raid shelter have been removed.

2nd September

War against Japan ended today. THE WORLD IS NOW AT PEACE

14th September

School closed for the village children to go on an excursion to Barry Island as a Victory celebration

22nd Oct

School closed again owing to the occasion of a visit to Warwick by Field Marshall Montgomery

30th Oct

7 senior children have assisted with the potato harvest for the last 7 days












This page was added on 04/11/2014.

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