New skills for wartime-raid pupils

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A FORMER pupil at a private school has relived how it was partly destroyed by a German bomb during a famous 1942 wartime raid on York almost exactly 70 years ago.

Bootham School’s Oral History Project is inviting former scholars to record memories of their time in York.

Professor John Caldwell, who was a pupil in 1942, has told how the school’s sanatorium was destroyed in an air raid while pupils were away during the Easter Holidays.

He said: “There was no wringing of hands or recriminations over what might have been, instead Donald Gray, our wonderful head master of the time, told the assembled school that we had been presented with an opportunity to learn the new, and invaluable skill of bricklaying.

“Over the succeeding months a handsome new wall was constructed which masked the site of the destroyed building and to this day I can still lay a mean course of bricks.”

The school’s archivist Jenny Woodland is recording a series of interviews with past pupils.