When teachers at the Edward Richardson Primary School in Tetford asked pupils to bring in items from the Second World War, they didn’t quite know what to expect.
They certainly weren’t expecting to see a letter signed by Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill!
But, that’s exactly what happened.
And, it appears there’s a remarkable story behind that letter.
Teacher Richard Baldock was intrigued.
He contacted the family of the pupil who brought in the letter as part of a school project.
Mr Baldock discovered that in 1945, the pupil’s grandmother had written to Churchill, thanking him for his role in helping end the war on May 8 - the date of her eighth birthday.
Amazingly, Churchill replied with a typewritten letter from 10 Downing Street, including the seal of the Prime Minister’s office.
The letter reads: “I have been deeply touched by all the messages of goodwill which have reached me at this time.
“Thank you so much for your kind thought.”
The letter appears to have been signed by Churchill.
Mr Baldock said: “As far as we can tell, the signature appears genuine but whatever, there’s quite a story behind the letter. Perhaps he received hundreds of similar letters, especially as it was the end of the war.
“However, the fact this one was sent to an eight-year-old girl and appears to be signed by Churchill himself is amazing.”
Pupils also brought in letters written by soldiers fighting in Europe who had sent them to their families.
One of the families lived in Prospect Street, Horncastle.
Mr Baldock added: “The letters are very much written in the style of that time. We’ve also had a letter from someone who owned a fishing boat that was commandeered as a minesweeper during the war. The children have alsobrought in a very impressive collection of medals.
“There’s lots of other memorabilia. We’ve had two or three helmets and a few other items of uniform, all kinds of things. It’s amazing the interest the children have shown. It’ll take time to sift through everything!”
To help recreate the atmosphere at the time, school windows have been taped up and protected by sandbags.
The project also saw children from Years 4, 5, 6 dress up as evacuees in 1940’s style clothing. Fiona (10) said she would have preferred to wear her usual school uniform while Connor (10) revealed he was proud of his great, great grandfather who served on HMS Dido, a cruiser that took part in battles in the Mediterranean and the Arctic.
Children have read ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ and written their accounts of what life might have been like for evacuees.