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Gas Gas Gas

17 Feb

Due to some random events today, I have spent the evening looking up resources to help me with seemingly neverending questions from E about World War 2 gas attacks.

It started with an email from a friend asking if we would like to go to a workshop on WW2 next month at our local museum. I told E about it, and she said that she would like to go, but was concerned that we might have to all wear gas masks throughout…obviously my brief synopsis of WW2 wasn’t the best!

Later in the day after we had worn ourselves out with visitors, I bribed the kids out of the house to go to the Night at the Museum– not the film, a stunt at our local museum. E was terrified, as she somehow envisaged inanimate objects being brought to life and roaming around…particularly as we usually refer to this museum as ‘the dinosaur museum’! Anyway it wasn’t anywhere near as exciting as it sounded. There was a lady spinning wool from cotswold sheep (realised I am probably not imparting the best knowledge, when I exclaimed ‘look, that’s a spinning wheel, like the one sleeping beauty pricked her finger on…’!!), a scary man wandering around with what appeared to be blood smeared all over his apron who claimed to be a barber/surgeon, a roman centuriony person (can you tell I slept through history at school) and a lady with a table covered in gas masks, gas raid rattles, ARW helmets, incendiaries, ancient fire extinguishers etc.

She had civilian adult, child and baby gas masks. I looked at baby L and the gas mask, and just couldn’t envisage the two together – truly horrific! I think this shocked E too. She wanted to know why they had gas masks, what was the gas threat, what kind of gas was it, what would it do to you if you didn’t have a mask on, how did they know when an attack would happen and they needed to put the mask on. Endless questions! We concluded that we were very lucky to be living now and not then, and E maintains that the place we live is the safest place on earth…as we don’t have any threat of gas attacks!

I’ve found a few resources to go through with E tomorrow if she starts again with the questioning! If anyone has any fab links or other pointers, let me know!!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/world_war2/air_raids/
http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/war/gasmasks.htm
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWgasmasks.htm
http://chemistry.about.com/od/toxicchemicals/ig/Gas-Masks-and-Gas-Attacks/World-War-I-Gas-Attack.-bhB.htm

One thing I learned today was that there were never any gas attacks by the germans towards british civilians during ww2. The experiences of ww1 meant the perceived threat was huge. All those gas mask practises at schools all over the country for nothing – thankfully, but I’m sure they could have done without all that faff!!

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1 Comment

Posted by on February 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “Gas Gas Gas

  1. Heather

    February 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

    it must have be a nightmare, all the faffing about and the fear and constant worry that you were going to get gassed. i didn't know it was all for nought either in WW2. you live and learn, eh?

     

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