“Gay Defiance” of Staff and Pupils during WW2

How words change their meanings!

This report tells how the education department were trying to minimise the threat of bomb damage: only allowing limited numbers of people on the school premises at one time  (part-time schooling), and arrangements for repairs made in advance. It had all worked well.

Staff and pupils carrying on as normally as possible in defiance of German aggression. Lessons would have continued in school air-raid shelters or even sheltering under desks!


Kent Education Committee

“Gay Defiance” of Staff and Pupils

Use of School Shelters by the public

Lord Northbourne presided at the Kent Education Committee meeting at Maidstone on Monday,and in dealing with the emergency measures taken since the last meeting, said that a very large number of incidents had been reported since he intensive air raids started, but perhaps the most significant fact in regard to the damage had been the resourcefulness shown by all concerned, and the attitude of “gay defiance” on the part of both the pupils and staff.

The arrangements made in advance for first aid repairs and necessary reinstatements had all worked well.  In view of the circumstances, the policy of allowing only limited numbers on the school premises at any one time had been fully justified.

Very good work was being done, and there nee be no fear that the educational system of the county would suffer irreparable damage.  Still further improvements would be made when and where possible .

Referring to the help given to farmers during the school holidays, the Chairman said that more than 1,500 boys had taken part in the scheme.  The experiment had been quite successful and promised well for the future.


Bromley & District Times, 1st November, page 2



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