WW1 Tommy - British Soldier
Puttees and PH hoods, Smellies and Service Dress caps, webbing and whizz-bangs - World War 1 can be a confusing place for the newcomer, with whole books dedicated just to the language of the trenches, let alone the military and political events of the conflict.
Our Tommy will provide the framework of knowledge your students need to understand the Great War. We can be entirely flexible about the content of our workshop, and are happy to tailor it to your needs; you'll find some suggestions below. We can build in opportunities for writing or creative work if desired.
Booking Tommy to visit your school is the perfect way to start a World War 1 project, to prepare for a visit to the battlefields of France & Flanders, or to enhance an exhibition of students’ work on the subject.
Recruitment: Using primary & secondary sources, including soldiers' own accounts, students explore the complex issue of recruitment during the Great War.
What motivated men to volunteer? How did the British Government & media use propaganda to encourage volunteering? What happened when the numbers enlisting were simply not enough to fill the gaps in the ranks?
Trench Life: Through contemporary images, maps and accounts, students discover what life was like in that iconic structure, the Great War trench.
Why & how were trenches built? What was life like in a trench? How long were men in the trenches? Saps, dugouts, OPs, firebays and knife-rests - what does it all mean? What problems did trenches pose for attackers and how were they overcome?
Changing Weapons & Tactics: World War 1 is often seen as tactically static: lines of overladen, undertrained infantry walking steadily across No Man's Land into the fire of machine guns and artillery. However, this is an over-simplification: tactics of defence and attack were constantly evolving. Students can discover for themselves the effects of the use of gas, tanks, aircraft, machine guns, mines, artillery and more.
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