Solihull special needs kids hear stories of World War Two in care home trip - The Solihull Observer

Solihull special needs kids hear stories of World War Two in care home trip

Solihull Editorial 17th May, 2019   0

SOLIHULL students with special needs heard stories from World War Two in a trip to a nearby care home.

Before Easter, a group of schoolchildren congregated at the Terrace Café at St Joseph’s Care Home to hear the residents’ tales of wartime.

The residents passed around photographs of themselves and showed the teens their medals.

The meeting was one of several by students of Forest Oak special education school in Windward Way in Smith’s Wood, Solihull, with residents of the Coleshill home.

The visits began last year when the Year Nine class was learning about WW2 and teachers decided to talk to people who had lived experiences of the war.

And, taking advantage of the opportunity, residents Major Peter Herbert and Fr Sean Turley talked about their time in the military.

Peter talked about his time in the Brigade of Gurkhas and showed them a painting he had done of his uniform and kukri sword. He talked about the demanding selection process and training, and told them that it was an honour to serve with a unit known for its loyalty and bravery.

He also told them about some of his experiences, like stroking a tiger, meeting his wife and, more recently, celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary.

Fr Sean, who had been stationed at Pearl Harbour, told them about his time in the US Air Force and showed them his medal.

He also talked about his time in New York before war broke out and his career as a military chaplain.

Teacher Ms Miller said: “They were studying WW2 and they wanted to find out what life was like during the war.

“So we reached out to St Joseph’s, who were happy for us to come along.

“They’ve loved it. The interaction has been great for their self-esteem as well as their education.”

Talking to the residents at St Joseph’s helped bring history to life for the class. One student said: “It was really interesting to hear about how they lived in WW2.”

The students enjoyed their visit so much they asked teachers if they could visit again.

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