‘Schools at War’ by David Stranack is published by Phillimore & Co, Chichester, West Sussex, at £14.99.
There is no mention of the great defensive trench that stretched the length of a cricket field, the Home Guard, the nightly blackouts or the sadness when the lengthening list of casualties was read out after prep in the Old Third.
But a new book says Shebbear’s remoteness made it a popular choice for parents seeking a safe refuge for their sons during the Second World War.
While not actually hosting a complete school, Shebbear received a steady stream of individual evacuees from urban areas at risk from attack.
In fact, “In the late 1940s the school roll was 50 per cent higher than it was in 1939.”
When Jack Morris arrived from Bryanston in 1942 to take over the headship, pupils were faced with a variety of attitudes among the staff.
“Morris was a jingoistic patriot but some of the older members of the common room who had had personal experience of action in the First World War viewed the new conflict with apprehension, and a couple of masters who were confirmed pacifists completed an interesting spectrum of opinion.”
It adds: “Apart from the usual deprivations caused by a shortage of food and fuel, Shebbearians’ lives were largely unaffected by the war.
“But perhaps helping with the potato harvest alongside prisoners of war from Italy and Germany gave them some inkling of how other lives had been affected.
Other West Country school mentioned in the book include Blundell’s and Kelly College, while it is also records that Bideford Grammar School hosted pupils from Selhurst Grammar School, Croydon, for a while.