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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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10/10/2018 - Bringing History to Life - WW1 Workshop

Today, Year 6 were transported back to the 1900’s to experience trench warfare through the eyes of a stretcher-bearer in WW1.  Mr. B, who was dressed in full WW1 uniform, told us many interesting, anecdotal facts about his grandfather, who served during WW1 as a stretcher-bearer. 


To start of with, we impressed Mr B with our knowledge of the four main reasons behind WW1 and our fantastic recollection of the 'spark that ignited the war'. As well as learning about the endless list of supplies that soldiers had to carry (including: barbed wire cutters, tooth powder, sewing kit and canned food), we also tried our hand at some essential first-aid bandaging and repair, which would have taken place in the front line trenches. Some children were even selected to mimic an injured soldier, and experienced being carried through the narrow, winding trenches.


We also had the opportunity to experience life in the army ranks: following Sergeant Major’s orders, we marched in sync around the school hall with batons to represent the rifles that soldiers would have carried. It was also interesting to hear how significant events and people impacted on the war. For instance, we acted out the Christmas Truce and learnt about how Vesta Tilley encouraged young men to sign up for war through her songs.

Overall, we had a fantastic day – we learnt lots of interesting facts and got to see some primary sources of evidence up close! 


We are now excited to plan our stories and include some of these wonderful facts!