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What did you do in the war?

Journalistic Writing Posters

First News is on the lookout for more fascinating Second World War stories. We’d love to hear from anyone with interesting memories of the war, particularly those who:


Fought in the war – soldiers, pilots, navy officers


Survived the Holocaust


Lived overseas or is from a country outside the UK


Were taken to a prisoner of war camp


Served as doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers or medics


Were women who did war work, or started working because of the war


Travelled on the Kindertransport

Send your interviews, stories and photos (please send digital copies if possible) to [email protected] with ‘What Did You Do In The War?’ as the subject, or post them to: What Did You Do In The War?, First News, First Floor, 58 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0AS.


CLOSING DATE: 30th January 2015


If you are planning to take part, we’d love to know what you are up to. Please fill in this short online form to let us know. TELL US YOUR PLANS

Teacher Resource Pack

Download the teacher resource pack for more information about how to get involved and for examples to help get you started.
How to record the stories 
Children can record the war-time memories they discover in many different ways. We are looking for a wide variety of different reporting styles to include in the book and the newspaper. Below are some formats to consoider:

1. Interviews – If children know someone who expereinced the war first-hand they may be able to interview them. 


2. Newspaper articles – First or second-hand research can be written up as a newspaper ariticle using quotations from the person who is the source of the story. 

3. Photo-stories – If a story has a number of related photographs or pictures, it might be possible to present the story visually as a photo-story, using small amounts of explanitory text.

4. ‘Memory box’ – A short report focussed on a particular memory or artefact: for example a photograph, medal, ration-book, or other war-time item.  

There are examples of each of these formats in the ‘What did you do in the war?’  Resource pack for teachers, as well as detailed information and class exercises on how to conduct interviews. 

The ‘What Did You Do in The War?” book is a joint project between First News, Walker Books and the Silver Line, a helpline for
older people that was set up by Childline founder Esther Rantzen.
Kind regards,
– The First News Education Team 
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