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School Children: air raid exercise
Title : School Children: air raid exercise School Children: air raid exercise
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Date of creation : 1942
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

School children from Flinders Street School during an air raid exercise.

Particularly after the Japanese bombed Australia's northern shores in 1942, air raid practice was regularly undertaken in Adelaide schools.

When an air raid siren was sounded children hung their cloth bags around their necks. These bags contained their identity cards with their name, next of kin, address, school and blood group. The bags also contained corks or cotton wool for the ears, something - for example, a piece of rubber - to bite on, barley sugar or a piece of chocolate, and a bandage and pin. It was thought that biting on something would stop the children's ears from bursting if a bomb exploded.

The drill was then to go quickly and quietly to a safe place for shelter, crouching down in purpose dug trenches or even under school desks. The children placed protective materials in their ears and mouths and then waited for the 'all clear' signal.

As a further preventative measure, classroom windows were taped up to stop them shattering in the event of an air raid.

Coverage year : 1942
Period : 1939-1945
Further reading :
Clark, Rosemary. The home front: life in Australia during World War II, Melbourne: Australia Post, 1991

Connell, Daniel. The war at home, Australia 1939-1949, Crows Nest, N.S.W.: ABC Enterprises for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1988

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