RAF High Wycombe youth activities Naphill and Walters Ash School visit to the Harris Heritage Room
The RAF High Wycombe Youth Activities Team recently hosted a visit by Year 5 students from Naphill and Walters Ash School to the ‘Bomber’ Harris Heritage Room.
As part of the students’ study of World War II, they took the opportunity to bring history to life and learn about the role that RAF High Wycombe played in the Second World War. The office that was used by Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Harris during the War has recently been restored as part of a Station heritage project.
RAF High Wycombe was the Headquarters for Bomber Command during the Second World War and, as Commander in Chief of Bomber Command, Harris was responsible for aircraft, such as the Lancaster and Wellington bombers. The students had the opportunity to look at the original and restored features in the room, including Harris’ original desk, a phone that would have been used as a direct link to the Prime Minister, and numerous maps that would have been used to plan bombing raids.
Having had an opportunity to look around the room and sit behind Harris’ desk for a photo, the students received a presentation about Harris and the role that Bomber Command played in World War II. The students soon realised how much of an important role Bomber Command and their local RAF station played during the War, especially after taking the opportunity to reflect on the 55,537 personnel who made the biggest sacrifice, by losing their lives.
One of the students, Liam Whitehead, was so inspired by the visit, that he wrote a song about Harris (sung to the tune of the Mulberry Bush):
He looked around for the map of the world,
The map of the world,
The map of the world,
He looked around for the map of the world
To track the Germans
Bomber Harris and his Wellington plane,
Bomber Harris and
his Wellington plane
Goes out to bomb the factories.
He bombs the coasts,
He bombs the towns,
He brings the factories tumbling down.
No more weapons for Germany
Means us Brits have harmony.
No more war and no more pain,
No more bombs to kill and maim.
He saved us all,
Without him we would surely fall.
So many pilots lost their lives,
A very sad sacrifice,
But we don’t give up,
We stay so brave,
And I say ‘Cheerio’ with a little wave.
The visit has helped to further strengthen the links between the Station and Naphill and Walters Ash School, which has a high proportion of service-children. The Youth Activities Team are now looking forward to organising more events with the school and will also be hosting visits to the Harris Heritage Room from other local schools.