English Trader

Wreck and rescue in wartime: the English Trader resource pack consists of eight lesson plans with teacher notes, accompanied by activity and information sheets for your pupils. Suitable for KS2 pupils.

Age: 7-11
Subject: English, geography, mathematics

Description: The convoy story is one of the untold and often untaught stories of the Second World War, yet coastal convoys were a key aspect of the home front and of the impact of the war on East Anglia and the east coast. This online resource and museum programme is designed to support teachers of age 7-11 (Key stage/CA 2) teaching a local history study and/or Britain since 1930, specifically the impact of the Second World War.

  • Contents sheet for English Trader resources

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    English Trader contents sheet

Lesson 1 - Britain delivers the goods

Aim: To find out how important convoys were in the Second World War, with specific reference to the steamship English Trader.

Lesson 2: Mystery of SS Benvenue

Aim: To solve the mystery of which ship rescued the crew of the SS Benvenue

Lesson 3: Museum visit

Pupils will engage actively with the stories of the wreck of the English Trader and the rescue of the crew by the Cromer lifeboat and use evidence at the museum to decide on a course of action to rescue the crew of the English Trader. Children work in teams, assess risks, prioritise, communicate and come to a considered decision using information to solve problems. After examining the evidence pupils then view the actual lifeboat that took part in the rescue. This will help the pupils learn about the courage and sacrifice of RNLI crews past and present, and see how these values are still very much at the heart of the RNLI today.

Find out more about the Henry Blogg museum

Lesson 4: Wind, weather and tides

Aim: Using a rescue from the past, students will illustrate how the tide and wind affected the events of the rescue.

lesson 5: sea stories

Aim: Use eyewitness accounts of the events of 26–27 October 1941 to try to communicate to people who weren’t there just what being in the shipwreck and on the lifeboat was like.

lesson 7: man overboard!

Aim: To use historical information from a range of sources to obtain the complete story of a rescue and to realise that people risk their lives for others.

lesson 8: canary in a cocoa tin!

Aim: To produce a PowerPoint presentation or children's picture book telling the story of the rescue from the English Trader.