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ARP Schools

How to use a gas mask

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The teacher Mr Ken from Knightswood Primary School in Glasgow shows his primary class how to fit their gas masks properly. Filmed between April and June 1940, the film shows how pupils should respond calmly to a gas attack. The captions between the clips describe the correct procedure to follow in the event of an air raid.

Questions & Activities


  • Why is the film so long?
  • Why are the children practicing putting on gas masks?
  • Does a gas mask look comfortable?
  • Where do we normally see emergency procedure demonstrations today?
  • Do you think being a child in WWII would have been exciting or scary?
  • Why did the children need to wipe the moisture out of their masks after use?


Write a precise descriptive narration to accompany this educational film gas mask demonstration.

Find out how gas masks work and how they protect the wearer from inhaling gas.

Organise a gas attack drill as part of your WWII day. This could be combined with other activities shown in related ARP clips in this collection.

Write a senses poem about being involved in an air raid on a British city.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-015-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0031
Date 1940
Genre Documentary, Drama Doc, Educational
School Subject History, Standard Grade History, Intermediate History, Social History, English, Science, Technologies, Art and Design
Subject Matter Community involvement, Citizenship, Education, World War 2
Who Stanley L. Russell (director)
Where Knightswood, Glasgow
Event World War II
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 11:46
Film Length 11:46