Memories of Ashchurch is an oral history project that was undertaken by Tewkesbury Museum. In addition to interviewing people whose lives have been touched by the presence of the camp the Museum searched through local newspaper archives, books and the internet to discover the camp’s history and its impact on the local community since 1938.
Our educational resource, aimed primarily at KS2 pupils, consists of six themed Power point slideshows, containing information and a range of activities and challenges that draw on skills in a range of different disciplines:
- Design and Technology
They are supported by additional resources such as photographs, images of newspaper cuttings, extracts from transcripts of the interviews and a list of web links. Throughout the slide shows there are opportunities for pupils to develop their writing and communication skills through extended prose, comprehension exercises, lists, charts, drawings and models.
Our slideshow themes are:
- In the right place – This module focuses on the reasons why Ashchurch was and is the perfect location for the Camp and draws on pupils to develop their understanding of places and where they are in relation to each other.
- An invitation to tea – This module looks at rationing and encourages comparisons with pupils’ own diets now. There is an opportunity to learn more about nutrition, and to practice practical baking skills, using star chart analysis to compare and assess the results.
- Different values – Different values looks at racial discrimination and some of the moral dilemmas encountered by the British while hosting their much needed American guests. Pupils are encouraged to consider concepts such as tolerance and freedom.
- A big party – This slide show focuses on the Christmas of 1944, when the US Army at Ashchurch invited local children to a party. There is an opportunity to compare American and British culture at the time. Then, as now, reusing materials was important and pupils are encouraged to design and make a toy from reused materials.
- Prisoners of War – Attention now turns to Camp 1009 Northway, which housed German Prisoners of War. This module focuses on the consequences of war. Pupils are also invited to create a photo-journal and compare the subject matter of their photos with those of the German Prisoners.
- After the Americans went away – The last slide show focuses on the Camp between 1945 and now. Starting with a reference to the American football matches held on Breaking Stone Meadow pupils reflect on the differences between American football and similar games that are more familiar to them, highlighting the purpose of protective clothing. It then looks at the work of the RAOC.