D-Day comes to John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford, 19 June 2024

On Wednesday 19 June a small detachment from the Hungerford D-Day 80 organising committee visited John O’Gaunt school to provide a number of short informational talks around D-Day and the role Hungerford and the surrounding area played in the build-up to this momentous event.

The team was hosted by school’s Head of Humanities, Laura Adams, and presented to five classes of children. The detachment reported that they were all “very attentive and polite and it was an absolute pleasure to engage with them all.”

“This June there has been lots happening at John O’Gaunt School including education and events around the eightieth anniversary of D-Day,” Laura Adams said. ” Students all participated in an assembly on the events of D-Day giving them the context and significance of the day itself and the anniversary, and have been encouraged to come along to the Hungerford D Day weekend.

“On Wednesday 19 June we were delighted to welcome Jerry Keates (in RAF uniform) and Kate Edwards (in Land Army uniform), and two members of the Wiltshire Home Guard (John and Colin) alongside Steve Potter and his RAF lightweight Land Rover. During the morning, year 7 tutor groups came out to visit our re-enactors and learn more about D-Day and Hungerford’s involvement in WW2.  It was a pleasure to hear all about how our local area played such a pivotal role in the war and the students loved being able to see the uniforms, equipment and the Land Rover.

“Most of our older students are on work shadowing this week, but those who remained in school came out to visit the re-enactors and Land Rover at break time and had a great time asking lots of questions about the war, Hungerford and all the equipment. A highlight of the visits was getting to hear the air raid siren which we had to send a warning to the rest of the staff about in case they panicked at the sound. As a history teacher, I am always grateful to those who can bring history to life for our students and this was certainly one of those occasions.”

“The year 7 students then spent some time designing their own memorial for the D Day eightieth anniversary, the best of which will be replicated for a new display on our JOG school walls for current and future students to learn from and remember.”

Jerry Keates added that “Hungerford very much looks forward the the D-Day 80 two-day event taking place 29 and 30 June and welcoming visitors to our town. “More information on this can be found here.

The photo shows the RAF lightweight Land Rover (many thanks to Steven Potter); Laura Adams of John O’Gaunt; Kate Edwards of the Hungerford Town and Manor flanked by John and Colin from the Wiltshire Home Guard re-enactors; and, on the far right, Jerry Keates in what he described as a “very itchy” RAF uniform.

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