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Field Recording

The Home Front After the War

This session plan covers the following aims and outcomes

 

Session Aim

  • For your pupils or group to consider what happened to buildings and places used to support the War Effort once the War was over.

 

Session Outcome

  • Your class or group will have explored the question, What happened on the Home Front once the War was over? They will have considered the nature of the evidence that might survive today.

 

Photograph showing rows of white tents in fields.
WW1 Training Camp

Resources Required


Illustrations

The Home Front Legacy project has commissioned five special illustrations that depict aspects of life on the Home Front 1914-18.

 

These can be downloaded as a pack from the Resources page.

 

Bomb damage to a house in Scarborough.  The front of the house has completely collapsed.
WW1 Bomb Damage to a House in Scarborough.

Venn Diagram Templates

There are five Venn diagram templates, one for each of the Home Front illustrations. These can be downloaded from the Young Archaeologists’ Club website as A4-sized PDFs, from the Home Front Legacy microsite, using the links below:

 

· By Land: Town

· By Air: Air Defence

· By Land: Army Camp

· By Land: Countryside

· By Sea: Coast

 

There is a completed Venn diagram example available that you can use to demonstrate how the activity works.

 

Session Plan


By 1918, the whole country was geared up to help the War Effort, with everyone, men, women and children, involved. Many places were constructed specifically for War purposes, such as army training camps, Prisoner of War camps, and new factories. Much of this infrastructure was either dismantled and sold off, or given a new purpose after the War ended.

 

Places such as factories, that had been taken over for the duration of the War, returned to peacetime manufacturing. So, for example, furniture factories that had stopped producing furniture to make wooden aeroplane parts returned to their original purpose.

 

Many of the temporary places and structures were dismantled and sold off. Many army camp huts were sold off for village halls. The camps and airfields themselves were often returned to farmland. Sometimes the military continued to use some of their camps and training areas. Permanent buildings, such as factories, historic houses, schools, homes and town halls returned to their peacetime use.

 

Activity Ideas

  • Begin the session by brainstorming different First World War Home Front site types and writing them onto post-it notes. You could return to the clue cards and historic photos from Session 2: How were people at home involved in the First World War? to give your class or group some help if required.
  • Sort your site types into five groups, for those that featured in each of the different landscapes pictured in the Home Front illustrations. Remember that some site types appeared in lots of different places, for example auxiliary hospitals.
  • Using the Venn diagram templates for each Home Front landscape, can your pupils or group now assign each site type into one (or more) of the categories, which describe how the sites were used after the War ended? Each decision needs to be justified with a reason, but there is no right and wrong in this activity!

 

Final Questions

At the end of this session, your pupils or group members should be able to answer the questions: What happened on the Home Front once the War was over? and How did the Home Front disappear from view?