Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by East Riding MuseumsHeritage Learning and Normanby Hall Country Park.

Curriculum Links

  • KS3 & 4 History: WW1

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the ways in which men from the Humber took part in the war on the Western Front
  • Understanding that experiences of the Front were varied and diverse
  • Skills in analysing and interpreting historical evidence

Discussion Ideas

Watch the film above about Arthur and Sydney Markham. Compare it with the film about Leonard May in the section on the East Riding Yeomanry.
  • Ask students to watch both films and write down the similarities and differences between Leonard May and the Markham brothers. 

    You could use categories to help them (for example, how they each joined the war, or the evidence for their daily lives in the letters they wrote home).

    What conclusions can we draw about a ‘typical’ soldier’s experience in the First World War? 

  • According to the BBC (see Supporting Links in Resources), 88% of soldiers who fought in the trenches survived. Do we place too much emphasis on the men who died during the First World War, rather than those that survived? 

Activity Ideas

  • Look at the photograph of the 10th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment (Hull Commercials) - see Resources. Compare it with the photograph of the same battalion in the story entitled ‘Training Men to be Soldiers in WW1’. What similarities and differences can you note? How useful are the photographs as evidence of the impact of war? 

  • Download the PDF of Charles Johnson’s diary (see Resources). Split the class into pairs or groups, and give each group a section of the diary to focus on. Ask the group to analyse what Charles was doing during that time period and make a plan of his daily routine. 

    - How much time did Charles spend under fire and how much in reserve trenches or rest camp? 
    - What kind of work is Charles involved in when he is not fighting?
    - What leisure activities is he involved in?
    - Which parts of the diary are the most detailed, and why do you think that is?