Presenter prepares pupils for battlefield

Author James Holland launches his new book Duty Calls: Dunkirk, at Rastrick High School, with students Patrick Thompson, 12 (centre) and Eisley Swaine, 12.
Author James Holland launches his new book Duty Calls: Dunkirk, at Rastrick High School, with students Patrick Thompson, 12 (centre) and Eisley Swaine, 12.

PUPILS from Rastrick High school were thrust into the battlefield with a visit from a leading historian.

James Holland brought genuine World War Two memorabilia as part of the event in a dynamic and engaging show and tell for his new young adult book Duty Calls: Dunkirk.

The title is the first in a true-to-life action series for over eleven-year-olds and throws them deep into the heart - and horror of the war.

“I was asked to write a novel aimed at younger teenagers so there is less swearing but lots more blood and gore,” said Mr Holland.

Students were able to get up close to British Battledress, German field jackets, Sten sub-machine gun, German bayonet, Mauser rifle, piece of Messerchmitt fuselage, gas marks, field telephone, various ammunition, British steel helmets, German ID papers and much more.

Mr Holland has also produced numerous historical non-fiction titles, the best selling Jack Tanner WWII fiction series and was presenter of BBC 2’s Battle of Britain: The Real Story.

Louise Benn, of Rastrick High School, said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for pupils to engage with a key component of the Key Stage 3 curriculum in a dynamic and exciting way.

“James had soldier’s uniforms, RAF jackets, rifles, pistols machine guns which the pupils were able to try on and handle.

“Most people would only ever get to see these behind a glass cabinet in a museum.”