From 1942 to 1944 Audley End House in Essex was used as a training base by the Polish section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Try our quiz to see if you would make it as a special operations paratrooper.
1. Before volunteering for special forces training, what were you?
A) An ice-cream salesman
B) A soldier in the Polish army
C) A footballer
2. You must jump from a balloon as parachute training. Do you…
A) Do a triple somersault
B) Refuse to jump
C) Follow the instructions you’re given
3. You’ve been given time off. Do you…
A) Go to the cinema
B) Play volleyball in the grounds
C) Go and see your mum
4. After a hard day’s training, what would you rather read?
A) A Harry Potter book
B) A comic
C) A map of Poland
5. You are away from base and bump into some locals. Do you…
A) Tell them about your training
B) Avoid talking to them
C) Get out a guitar and start singing Polish folk songs
6. What was part of the assault course that agents had to do?
A) A rope crossing over the River Cam
B) Abseiling down the side of the house
C) Pole-vaulting over the Cloud Hedge
7. The underground warfare course taught which of these skills?
A) Digging tunnels, bricklaying and carpentry
B) Sewing and needlework
C) Sabotage, silent killing, close combat and avoiding capture
8. What do you hope to do once parachuted into Poland?
A) Join up with the Polish Home Army and help them to fight the Nazis
B) Go home to see your family
C) Hide in the forest and wait until the war is over
Now put your paratrooper skills to the test with these SPECIAL FORCES CHALLENGES
Who are you?
Create a false identity for yourself including name, occupation, family background, likes and dislikes and write it down on a sheet of paper. Give the paper to a friend or family member and get them to ask you questions based on your false identity at unexpected moments over the following few days. See if they can catch you out. This happened to the Poles but they were questioned in German, not their native language, to add authenticity.
Write a secret message using invisible ink. Slice and squeeze a lemon to get some juice. Then use this to write your message on ordinary paper using a stick or fine paintbrush. Allow the paper to dry. To read your secret message hold the paper up to a radiator or other source of heat. The heat will cause your writing to darken to a pale brown, revealing the message.
Try your hand at intelligence gathering, a vital task for an SOE operative. Get yourself a notepad and pencil, and perhaps some binoculars. Watch what a friend or family member is doing without being observed, and keep a note of what they get up to. How much information do you think you’ll be able to put together without being spotted?
Discover the World Wars
Congratulations on completing the quiz! Now that you’ve found out if you’d make a good special forces soldier, read about the World Wars in this online issue of our Kids Rule! magazine. 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.
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