The Trenches

History of the Trenches

The Trenches at a school in Hove during the Second World WarThe Trenches were first opened in January 1940.

With the outbreak of war, there were air raid warnings in Brighton almost daily and the children spent time in the Trenches on a regular basis.

Whitehawk Infants School log book

The Whitehawk Infants School log book covering the period of the Second World War has daily entries describing events or activities occuring at the school. During the war, many entries in the log book list the time the children spent in the Trenches or describe other events that indicate what school life was like during the war.

The Trenches at a school in Hove during the Second World WarExtracts from the log book

02-08-1939
Gas mask drill taken this morning

18-09-1939
School reopened today two weeks later than originally planned owing to the outbreak of war.

13-03-1940
Air Raid Wardens examined the gas masks of children present.

09-04-1940
Trench drill taken this afternoon.

08-08-1940
The siren sounded twice this morning shortly before ten o'clock and again at about ten minutes to twelve. The children went to their allotted place in the air raid shelter and remained till the 'all clear' sounded. On the first occasion the children spent twenty minutes in the shelter and on the second alarm they remained forty minutes.

27-08-1940
Attendance today badly affected by last night's air raid. The children in attendance appear strained and listless. This applies particularly to children in the top classes. The timetable today is being disregarded and the children are spending most of the time in the school grounds.

20-09-1940
Shortly before twelve o'clock this morning bombs were dropped without warning. The children went to the protected classrooms and from thence, class by class, to the shelters as opportunity occurred.

The original school log book is held at the East Sussex Record Office.