Trench warfare was brought to life for some 850 schoolchildren as they previewed an exhibition recreating 20th century conflicts.
Pupils were joined by around 100 First World War veterans at the Yorkshire Wartime Experience yesterday, which will feature the UK’s biggest battle re-enactment when it opens to the public today and tomorrow.
Youngsters also met special guest Bill Duncanson, who witnessed a Halifax Bomber crash on the event site, off Hunsworth Lane, Bradford, aged five in 1943.
Years later he traced the pilot, Tom Scotland, in Australia where they both now live. With the pilot now 92 and unable to travel, Mr Duncanson has flown to the UK with his memorabilia and medals to tell his story on his behalf.
Event spokeswoman Susan Goss-Clements said: “It was an educational experience for the pupils but it was also fun.”
The re-enactments today and tomorrow will feature more than 1,000 participants with genuine UK, US and German tanks and artillery. There will also be displays of rare military vehicles and aircraft, 1940s music and dance and wartime cookery.
The event, from 10am to 5pm, will raise money for the Royal British Legion and SSAFA.