The World Wars

Welcome to our guide to the World Wars, where you can learn about England’s history through the World Wars and discover more about how the places we care for played their own part. You’ll find a video to watch, a magazine to read and more. 

Homes Through History Episode 9: meet a member of the Cichociemni at Audley End House

Take a stroll around Audley End House and Gardens with Pawel, a former member of the Cichociemni.

Also called the Silent Unseen, the Cichociemni was the Polish section of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. Members trained at Audley End House, which became known as Station 43 and was operational from 1 May 1942. Pawel explains how he and his comrades lived, trained and relaxed, while preparing to return to his homeland to fight.

Image: syrup cake

Bake a syrup cake

During the Second World War ingredients like eggs and butter were rationed, but people still managed to make desserts and cakes.

Download our recipe for tasty syrup cake to see what you think of this wartime treat!

Download your recipe

Things to make and do: get creative with our wartime themed activities

  • Design a propaganda poster

    Can you design an eye-catching wartime propaganda poster? Find out what a propaganda poster is, and why the British government used them during the Second World War.  Then have a go at designing your own!

  • Wartime Christmas Pudding

    During wartime food rationing, people found other ways to enjoy their favourite festive treats.  This 1940s Christmas pudding recipe doesn’t contain any eggs, but it still tastes delicious!

  • Colour a Wartime poster

    It's the early 1940's, during the Second World War. Food is rationed, children are evacuated to the countryside, and the Home Guard watches out for invasion. Download this poster and use pencils, pens or paints to bring it to life.

  • More things to make and do

    Browse our best ideas and get hands-on and crafty with history. From model historical homes to costumes and coats of arms, there’s plenty to be inspired by. Download our easy-to-use templates and instructions, and get making!

Image: Text - could you make it as a special forces soldier?

Quiz: Could you make it as a special forces soldier?

Try our quiz to see if you would make it as a special operations paratrooper...

Test your knowledge!

READ THE KIDS RULE! Magazine online (Issue 12)

Read Kids Rule! magazine online to learn about the World Wars. Meet Wrest Park's Plumber and electrician in 1914, discover the role Dover Castle played in defending Britain during the war and take our quiz to see if you could make it as a special forces soldier.

This is issue 12 in our Kids Rule! magazine series, designed to help you discover more about our properties through fun facts, illustrated stories and games.

Read The Magazine


In every issue of your Kids Rule! magazine we’re giving away a free poster showing how people lived in England through the ages. If you missed the last magazine, don’t worry as you can still get your hands on the previous posters online.

Each of the posters follow on from each other, allowing you to create a mega timeline of English history! Don’t miss the poster of life in wartime England, which is due to appear in the next issue of the magazine and is available to download here.

Download your poster

Going underground

Dover Castle in Kent played an important part in defending Britain and planning attacks from its secret tunnels during the Second World War.

 Operation Dynamo

Castle Defenders

During the Second World War, Dover Castle became the centre of an important defensive area including the harbour and the town. Around 12,000 soldiers were stationed in this region. Their task was to prevent Dover from falling into enemy hands.

Image: Dover Castle

Strait talker

Overlooking a sea passage between England and France known as the Strait of Dover, Dover Castle became the headquarters for a Royal Navy force headed by Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay. Its role was to keep the narrow sea between the two countries clear of enemy ships so that it was safe for Allied naval and merchant vessels.

Image: Ramsay with his telescope at Dover (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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