Our Secret WWII

During the Second World War, secrecy was a way of life. But for some, secrecy was so important they had to sign the Official Secrets Act. These people were forbidden to speak about their war work for decades. Meet them here.

Learning about our secret war

The following 5 lesson plans look at the activities involved in the Secret War. From the Women at War to the home front, listen and learn from 20 remarkable men and women who put their lives on hold, and on the line, for the war effort.

Our resources are all provided free of charge, and whilst they remain the intellectual property of Legasee Educational Trust, We would be delighted if you would download, print off, photocopy and use in the way that best suits your learning and teaching styles.

Lesson plans included in this resource

Lesson Plan 1

What was the secret war?

Posters warned ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’ and ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’. But for some, secrecy was so important they had to sign the Official Secrets Act.

Meet some of these veterans in this series of 5 lesson plans.

Lesson Plan 2

Women at war

WWII  was the first time women were recruited into the armed forces for their intellectual and practical skills. Alongside the vital clerical and domestic roles, they listened to and deciphered code and messages, manned anti-aircraft guns, flew planes and became agents in Nazi occupied countries.

Lesson Plan 3

The home front

Due to the close proximity of Britain to Nazi occupied Europe, it was easy to listen into enemy radio and signals. Therefore much of the clandestine work undertaken in the Second World War was conducted on the Home Front. 

Lesson Plan 4

Europe and the wider world

The Special Operations Executive (SOE), operated in many of the countries occupied by the Axis forces. Their remit was to assist and support resistance groups.  

In this plan you can watch some of these agents reflect on their own operations.

Lesson Plan 5

The role of oral history

One of the main roles of oral history is understanding more about the context of an historical event and how the ordinary men and women experienced some of the major events of the war. This allows historians to build a bigger picture of an event.

There are 20 such interviewees in these lesson plans. Have they helped your students learn about the secret war?