St Mary's Anderson shelter

The Second World War breaks out on 3 September, when Great Britain declares war on Nazi Germany, with South Africa following suit three days later. Tens of thousands of South African men, among them St Mary’s parents and Old Girls’ bridegrooms, once again participate in a global war – barely two decades after the conclusion of the previous conflict.

The school builds an Anderson shelter, against air raids, because a U-boat has been spotted off Durban – nearly 600km away. There are occasional evacuation practices. On one occasion, there is a direct hit during an air raid practice by the air force, which uses sand bags instead of bombs.