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The Meanings of Military Service

Draws on Queen Mary archives and expertise to engage teachers and pupils from secondary schools at KS3 with new materials and resources on the First World War

Meanings of Military Service in World War One
  • School/Institute/Department: Library, School of History
  • Subjects: History, World War One
  • Audience: Key Stage 3, Teachers

‘The Meanings of Military Service’, organised by the QMUL Archives and History Department, draws on Queen Mary archives and expertise to engage teachers and pupils from secondary schools concerning the teaching of the First World War at Key Stage 3 level.  It will help to create more diverse teaching resources in this area and to involve academics in the selection of material that will both engage students and exemplify complex concepts.

The project draws on the QMUL Archives and Barts and the London Hospitals Archives to identify rich individual stories that exemplify essential ideas about wartime service, including enlistment, exemption, wounding, death and survival. The creation of the teaching resources was carried out  between October 2013 and November 2014, with the materials now available online.

The target audience is teachers and students in secondary schools in the London Region, Key Stage 3 (year 9).  They were engaged in the materials through a special event (organised with the assistance of a teaching consultant) introducing the teaching resources and inviting feedback.  Further engagement will be achieved through the circulation of the resources to schools and publicity through key advocates such as the Historical Association and First World War Centenary Partnership.

This project links to two lines of research undertaken by Dr Dan Todman. The first is to his continuing research into the remembrance of the First World War in the UK, a subject in which he is acknowledged as an international expert and from which he can draw on an extensive knowledge of past and present educational practice. The second is to the research Todman is undertaking with his students into the history of London during the First World War.

The project involved the following:

  • Research and digitisation October 2013 and June 2014
  • Launch of a draft website August 2014
  • Production of teaching resources July-September 2014
  • Lecture and CPD event for teachers 5th November 2014
  • Final teaching resources published online and circulated November 2014

The lasting legacies of the project are these teaching resources, improved connections between the college and its wider surrounding community, and improved understanding of the ways the war is taught.

To view the teaching resources and images from the QMUL and Barts and the London Hospitals Archives go to the 'Meanings of Military Service' website

Funded by a Centre for Public Engagement Large Award.

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