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‘I have three homes’ Life as an American military child in Suffolk

RAF Lakenheath is not only home to American military personnel, but also to their families. There are five schools that serve the base, with over 2,500 children attending them.

The schools have been working with Suffolk Archives to explore young people’s experiences of arriving and living in Suffolk. They have been inspired by items from the archive collections to express their opinions and share their stories with the people of Suffolk.

These two booklets were used to inspire the students’ work. Left – a 1960s booklet for American service personnel transferring to RAF Lakenheath (read the whole booklet here); Right – a Second World War pamphlet for the British outlining aspects of American geography and culture (read the whole booklet here)

The students’ work will feature in an exhibition at the new flagship heritage facility, The Hold, in Ipswich. The exhibition will explore the experiences of American military forces arriving in Suffolk during World War Two. Their work will also be shared with the local civilian communities near the base as part of a Sharing Suffolk Stories project.

Click on the images to explore more.

What does home mean to you?

Students at Lakenheath Elementary School tell us about their homes

What does the UK look like to you?

Drawings by students at Lakenheath Elementary School

Advice for children moving to the UK

Advice from students at Liberty Intermediate School on settling in to a new country

Moving drama

Drama written by students from Liberty Intermediate School based on their experiences of moving

The High School perspective

Lakenheath High School reflect on the positives and challenges of life as a military child.

Create You

Students at Lakenheath Middle School create an inspiring mural

Jam or Jelly?

Feltwell Elementary School compare UK and USA foods

Acknowledgements

Suffolk Archives are grateful for the support, hard work, and boundless enthusiasm of the school pupils who took part, their teachers, and storyteller Sarah Brady.