Scramble to Limpsfield Schools air raid shelters

An illustration of how the air raid shelters would have been during the Second World War

During the Second World War when an air raid siren was heard at Limpsfield School or Mr Moulding, the headmaster, rang the school bell the children scrambled to the shelters on Limpsfield Common.

The walk to the shelter

From the school the pupils had to run across the cricket ground and then through a field laid with barbed wire fences. If the children didn’t make the shelters before they heard enemy aircraft overhead, they would lie flat on the ground until the danger passed.

Down in the air raid shelters

In the shelters the children would sit on wooden benches and, just like today, the mischievous ones would try and sit at the back, the furthest away from the teacher.
The teacher would try and carry on with the lessons but this was often difficult because of the sound of aircraft dog fights overhead. If the noise was too loud, the children would have a sing song and sing tunes such as ‘Ten Green Bottles’.
Reading and writing was also difficult because the shelter was poorly lit with only a few oil lamps along the walls.
In 1940, while the Battle of Britain raged in the skies, the children spent most of their school day hidden in the shelters.

Night bombing

At night the shelters became a safe haven for local families. Night raids were frequent as the German bombers flew over Limpsfield to bomb London.