A new website from Queen Mary University of London, ‘Meanings of Military Service’, draws on archive material to ‘bring to life’ individual stories of wartime service.
The website includes a diverse range of previously unpublished letters, photographs and drawings, all of which were curated and digitised by a team at QMUL.
Meanings of Military Service is part of a QMUL-led educational project, which aims to provide teachers with primary source content for use in the new national curriculum.
According to Lorraine Screene, project manager and archivist at QMUL, the material provides educators with a “rich source of stories and content, which will engage students and bring complex concepts to life.”
Dr Dan Todman, Senior Lecturer at QMUL’s School of History and academic lead for the project said: “The First World War will be a required topic at KS3 in the new curriculum, and we hope that this website will be a useful resource for teachers and students. The curated source material will serve as a lasting legacy from our commemorative programme at QMUL, and reinforces our strong links with the local community in East London.”The project is a collaboration between QMUL’s Archives, the School of History, and the Centre for Public Engagement. As part of the initiative, a range of resources from the period have been digitised and made available to researchers, including the roll of honour for East London College and a list of students who died during the war.
In the coming months, the project team will work with teachers from QMUL’s partner schools to produce lesson plans based around stories from the website. Lesson plans will be will be published on the website in October 2014 and circulated to participating schools for integration in the curriculum.
Professor Peter McOwan, Vice-Principal (Public Engagement and Student Enterprise), said: "We are delighted to see such an innovative collaboration between our archives team, researchers and partner schools. I am particularly fascinated by the wide range of content drawn from the QMUL archives, including local newspaper articles, personal letters and drawings. They provide a unique window into that turbulent period of history and serve as an invaluable learning resource for young people."
This latest project is part of a series of commemorative public engagement initiatives from Queen Mary University of London. For more information, visit the QMUL World War One microsite.
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