EDUCATION

For those studying History Study Unit 3b - Britain since 1930, the Cobbaton Combat Collection offers a unique opportunity to see (in some cases touch) original artefacts from the 1939/45 period. Used increasingly by schools as a resource where children get an idea of the size and utilitarian design of the military vehicles, and just how basic life was on the Home Front, with evacuees, rationing, gas masks, and air raids.

On their guided tour of over 50 fully equipped vehicles, and displays of many aspects of military and civilian war, pupils try on steel helmets and inspect the claustrophobic little Morrison shelter, intended for a family of four, while an Air Raid Siren wails. Often following a visit, pupils will quiz older relatives who lived through the war years, giving the children the chance of learning at first hand through various reminiscences, their own families involvement in those turbulent years.The play area gives an opportunity for the pupils to let off steam, often useful after the journey here. This "fun" area with it's armoured vehicles and a large field gun, and an Anderson Shelter to get into, has it's more serious aspect though. When inspecting the Sherman tank, it will become apparent that this seemingly impregnable monster has shell holes in it, and for the "would be" tank drivers, it is a sobering thought that the shells which made some of these holes were heading straight at the driver or the rest of his crew.Teachers are invited to make a free reconnaissance visit, and to discus any particular aspect they would like highlighted during the pupil's visit.