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: World War One

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the campaign in Egypt and Palestine as a counterpoint to the more traditional narratives of the Western Front
  • Understanding that the First World War was a ‘world’ war and that the experiences of service personnel varied widely
  • Skills in analysing and understanding historical material. 

Discussion Ideas

Watch the film above about Leonard May’s wartime service then think about: 
  • What do you think motivated him to join the East Riding Yeomanry? Why do you think he felt sad after he’d signed up? 
  • Do you agree with Gareth May that there should be more focus on people who fought in the conflict and survived? 

Activity Ideas

  • In groups, ask students to brainstorm their image of what life was like for a ‘typical’ First World War soldier. You could use different headings, for example: training, leisure time, active service, environment, equipment.

    Then use the resources in this section (images, video, letter transcript) to find out about Leonard May’s experiences with the East Riding Yeomanry. How similar or different were May’s experience to the students’ idea of a ‘typical’ soldier? 

  • Compare Leonard May’s experience with that of soldiers serving on the Western Front. Why do you think public and media narratives about the First World War focus on France and Flanders rather than Egypt and Palestine? 
  • Research how the First World War and the peace settlement helped to create the current situation in the Middle East.