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WW2 Veteran visits Whitefield
Posted on: 12/05/2017
Barnet school children get first-hand experience of WW2 from a local Barnet veteran
History was brought to life for year 9 and 10 students at Whitefield School this week as a Barnet World War Two veteran Mervyn Kersh (92 years old) gave a personal and frank portrayal of his life during the Second World War. Mervyn began his talk in 1938 with the news that Germany had annexed Austria, his discussion covered all aspects of the war from his evacuation to the countryside where he lived with his aunt and cousins to swapping his meat rations for tinned peaches. Perhaps the most touching moment, was when Mervyn explained that after reaching Bergen-Belsen as a soldier he was greeted with concentration camp prisoners who were suffering from severe starvation. Mervyn recalled how he had offered them chocolate and had tried to communicate with them.
Ms Ahmed Head of History and member of SLT from Whitefield School said; ‘For our students to have the opportunity to listen to people who experienced and served in World War Two whilst also learning the facts is a really potent learning experience. Students are able to get the content and knowledge from books, their teacher and the internet, but the experience of meeting someone who was actually there isn’t something they have access to every day’.
A student from Whitefield School commented that; ‘It was an honour to have Mervyn visit our school, he made the war feel real. Hearing Mervyn talk made me feel like I was there at the time, like I was part of it’.