The Secret WW2 Learning Network is an educational charity established in 2014 with the aim of creating greater public awareness of the contributions and experiences of the men and women who took part during the Second World War in Allied special operations, intelligence gathering and resistance - principally, but not exclusively, in Britain and France.
The charity has established a unique partner network of specialist historians, researchers, writers, teachers, veterans’ descendants and associations, museums, local communities, and media outlets who work proactively with the charity’s Trustees and volunteers to instigate learning initiatives and special commemorative events.
Access to a unique archive of filmed personal testimony from more than a hundred British ‘secret warriors’ and French resisters provides a key resource, and the charity’s innovative approach regularly brings recognition to these remarkable wartime exploits and also to the cross-channel links that were forged.
The ultimate aim of The Secret WW2 Learning Network is to ensure that the wartime contributions and sacrifices of the ‘secret warriors’ will become their lasting legacy in both countries by continuing to engage, inform and inspire people of all ages.
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OBJECTS: The advancement of the education of the general public in the nature, perception, context, history, impact and consequences of covert operations during times of conflict and in particular the covert Allied operations during the Second World War with a focus on those who took part in clandestine operations in support of resistance in occupied France and also the actions of the French resisters themselves - both military and civilian - and the experiences of their fellow civilians whose country had been occupied.
When applying for charity status it was necessary for the co-founders to declare the charity's Objects and also explain the future Public Benefits of its planned efforts -
"How your organisation’s purposes are for the public benefit" can be summarised within the charity's principal purpose to educate, with a number of specifically targeted beneficiaries -
Veterans involved in secret operations - and their descendants - will be served by providing copies of archived materials relating to them
School students - mainly but not exclusively at sixth form level - plus undergraduates and postgraduates, researchers and teachers will be served by providing analysed factual evidence and other support
Members of the general public who have an interest in the subject can be engaged via special events and other initiatives
Institutions and organisations with a focus on areas covered by the charity's Objects will be served by it acting as a community outreach vehicle and, in particular, specialist and local museums in the UK and France can be provided with information and context for their displays and outreach programmes
Very few Second World War veterans are still with us and the information they all had in their memories will be lost if not recorded and archived. In present-day society few individuals have had such experiences, and so the accumulation of such information together with other records is already providing a database from which can be extracted significant information about them and the context of their experiences.
The Secret WW2 Learning Network will continue to draw on these resources in order to powerfully demonstrate the actions and spirit of humankind in very difficult circumstances and provide a deeper understanding of why and how those people acted in such circumstances.
The charity will also proactively link people and organisations by serving as a facilitator to engage and involve the above-mentioned targeted beneficiaries.