WW2 activity 9: Battle of Britain - surprise attack on RAF Hawkinge
Pupils research the Battle of Britain using Learn with Objects WW2 13: Battle of Britain and other sources.
They then explore a compelling piece of evidence: an account of a devastating surprise attack on RAF Hawkinge by the Luftwaffe on 12 August 1940.
They re-create this in role play and/or through a piece of descriptive writing from the point of view of one of the eyewitnesses to the event.
Image copyright: Battle of Britain Museum, Hawkinge
Increased knowledge and understanding of WW2 Home Front, the Battle of Britain, the role of women, and the Folkestone area in WW2.
KS1-2 History (WW2 Home Front, Battle of Britain, role of women, Local Area Study).
KS1-2 English (descriptive writing, role play)
The starting point of this activity is the compelling account of a surprise attack on RAF Hawkinge by the Luftwaffe on 12 August 1940. The report is written up in the RAF Station Hawkinge, Operations Record Book. It can be viewed on the National Archives website at:
The RAF Squadron Patrol Reports compiled by 501 Squadron and 32 Squadron the same day are also fascinating:
These can be used as the stimulus for a piece of creative writing, written from the point of view of one of the RAF Hawkinge personnel, an RAF or Luftwaffe pilot, or a member of the Folkestone Fire Brigade who rushed to the scene to help.
Please note, many women were based at RAF Hawkinge as well as men, serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). To find out more about their roles visit:
The following websites may also be useful to teachers or pupils
Schools may like to consider visiting the excellent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge, which is on the site of RAF Hawkinge, where these dramatic events took place.
The surprise attack can be re-enacted in role play, with small groups of children acting out different scenes, playing the part of characters described in the record book report.
The pupils then develop a piece of descriptive writing, from the viewpoint of a member of RAF Hawkinge personnel, an RAF or Luftwaffe pilot, or a fireman serving with the Folkestone Fire Brigade who rushed to the scene to help.