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Starter: Life in the trenches

Starter: Life in the trenches

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Starter: Life in the trenches

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  1. Starter: Life in the trenches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gv3DUl43Ew Discuss: What was good about life in the trenches? What was not so good about life in the trenches?

  2. Was life really that terrible in the trenches? Aim: To develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  3. Task • The class will be split into two. • One half will be looking at reasons why conditions in the trenches were good, the other half will look at the reasons why conditions in the trenches were terrible. • The class will have a debate as to the extent to which life was terrible in the trenches. Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  4. Progress check I think I can critically evaluate which pieces of evidence that I have evaluated is the most useful(L7). • I think I can evaluate the usefulness of these questions against the evidence I have examined (L6). • I think I can develop relevant questions regarding what life was like in the trenches(L5). Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  5. Almost time to debate Now swap over the evidence. You must take some time and prepare your group for the arguments that the other group will make to you. This will help make your arguments stronger as you will be able to challenge their argument. Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  6. Debate Listen to each other’s speeches – without interruption. Then, when you have heard a person’s speech you can ask questions or make (polite!) comments. Overall we can choose one winner… Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  7. Linking back to the enquiry • Let’s consolidate our learning. • Using the information, develop an overall paragraph that investigates the extent to which it was “hell in the trenches” Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  8. Extension task No Man’s Land, Barbed wire, Mud, Machine Gun, Lice, Rats, Smell, Gas, Rifle, Rations, Bombing, Trench foot You are a British soldier fighting in the trenches. • Write a letter home telling your family or friends all about what life is like for you. • How are you feeling? • What do you miss about home? • What might you ask them to send you? Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  9. Plenary Progress Check I think I can critically evaluate which pieces of evidence that I have evaluated is the most useful(L7). • I think I can evaluate the usefulness of these questions against the evidence I have examined (L6). • I think I can develop relevant questions regarding what life was like in the trenches(L5). Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  10. Lice Source C: Private Stuart Dolden wrote about his experiences in the trenches after the war. We had to sleep fully dressed, of course, this was very uncomfortable with the pressure of ammunition on one's chest restricted breathing; furthermore, when a little warmth was obtained the vermin used to get busy. The only way to obtain relief was to get out of the dugout, put a rifle barrel between the belt and rub up and down like a donkey at a gatepost. This stopped it for a bit, but as soon as one got back into the dugout, and was getting reasonably warm so would the little brutes get going again. Develop your answer: Why were body lice such a problem for the soldiers in the trenches? Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  11. Rats Source C: Stuart Dolden, 1920 The outstanding feature of the trenches was the extraordinary number of rats. The area was infested with them. It was impossible to keep them out of the dugouts. They grew fat on the food that they pilfered from us, and anything they could pick up in or around the trenches; they were bloated and loathsome to look at. Some were nearly as big as cats. We were filled with an instinctive hatred of them, because however one tried to put the thought of one's mind, one could not help feeling that they fed on the dead. Source D: Richard Beasley, interviewed in 1993. If you left your food the rats would soon grab it. Those rats were fearless. Sometimes we would shoot the filthy swines. But you would be put on a charge for wasting ammo, if the sergeant caught you. Why were body rats such a problem for the soldiers in the trenches? Aim: To be develop relevant questions from the sources regarding what life was like in the trenches (L5) and evaluate the usefulness of them to evaluate (L6) which are the most reliable (L7).

  12. Trenchfoot Source E: A photograph of Trenchfoot After the war, Captain G. H. Smith wrote about his experiences of trench life. The trenches were wet and cold and at this time some of them did not have duckboards and dug-outs. Soldiers lived in mud and water. Altogether about 200 men were evacuated for trench feet. New boots were provided for the troops in the most exposed positions. Trench foot was still a new ailment and the provision of dry socks was vitally important. Part of the trench was reserved for men to go two at a time, at least once a day, and rub each other's feet with grease. Why was trenchfoot such a problem for the soldiers in the trenches?

  13. Source E - Photo of troops of the West Indies regiment in camp on the Albert-Amiens Road, September 1916 Source F - Casualty list for the 57th Wilde's Rifles after an attack in May 1915 Source G – Wilfred Owen’s ‘Cramped in that Funnelled Hole’, 1916 Cramped in that funnelled hole, they watched the dawnOpen a jagged rim around; a yawnOf death's jaws, which had all but swallowed themStuck in the bottom of his throat of phlegm.They were in one of many mouths of HellNot seen of seers in visions, only feltAs teeth of traps; when bones and the dead are smeltUnder the mud where long ago they fellMixed with the sour sharp odour of the shell. Source I – Photograph of a man suffering from trench foot, 1918. Source H – letter from a troop, 13th January 1915 Hell is the only word descriptive of the weather out here and the state of the ground. It rains every day! The trenches are mud and water up to one's neck, rendering some impassable - but where it is up to the waist we have to make our way along cheerfully.

  14. Source B - 'The Harvest of Battle', a painting by CRW Nevinson in 1919 Source A - Sergeant A. Vine, diary entry, 8th August, 1915 The stench of the dead bodies now is awful as they have been exposed to the sun for several days, many have swollen and burst. The trench is full of other occupants, things with lots of legs, also swarms of rats. Source C - Extract from General Haig's war diaries, June 1915 Source D – In a letter to his parents, Private Pressey of the Royal Artillery described the quality of the food men were receiving on the Western Front, 1915. The biscuits are so hard that you had to put them on a firm surface and smash them with a stone or something. I've held one in my hand and hit the sharp corner of a brick wall and only hurt my hand. Sometimes we soaked the smashed fragments in water for several days. Then we would heat and drain, pour condensed milk over a dishful of the stuff and get it down.

  15. 2nd Lieutenant John Staniforth In spite of the hardship a spirit of comradeship and high morale did exist in the trenches. As this letter from Dr. Noel Chavasse, June 6th 1915 shows: 'Last night I had a bad but necessary job. I had to crawl out behind part of the trench and bury three poor Englishmen. … This is the seamy side of war, but all is repaired in the feeling of comradeship and friendship made out here. It is a fine life and a man’s job.' Pte G Ward, 1916 'One sees things from a different standpoint out here, the seeming uselessness of it, day after day in the trenches with great exposure, and very little really happening. Of course occasional bombardments and it is wonderful what men can put up with.' A typical British officer dugout

  16. Soldiers passed the time very wisely in the trenches when they were not fighting. They would dig trenches to one another and play card games and such. after the war, there were many trenches. it looked likes tons of mazes. A year 9 student, 2009 If time permitted they would write letters to home or read their own mail. If it was possible (and it wasn't always) they would wash and de-louse each other. Some would be sent to the rear to collect food rations - if any were available. Trenches may need repairing or clearing of debris and of course bodies removed if possible. Weapons needed to be cleaned constantly to prevent guns from jamming. And they played games, sang songs, talked about home and shared a fag (cigarette) or two. A year 9 student, 2009 Many soldiers in WW1 developed "trench art" and this refers to anything made by soldiers at the front. The usual things were hand made cigarette lighters made from a 303 cartridge, or wood carvings, made from old wooden crates and boxes, or leather carvings from broken horse harness. BBC website, 2011 Many men wrote poems and songs to sing while they marched to and from the trenches. Many depicted what the hardships of the trenches were and what they went through. Schoolhistory.co.uk

  17. The Trench Cycle Typically, a battalion would be expected to serve a spell in the front line. This would be followed by a stint spent in support, and then in reserve lines. A period of rest would follow - generally short in duration - before the whole cycle of trench duty would start afresh. In reality the cycle was determined by the necessities of the situation. Even while at rest men might find themselves tasked with duties that placed them in the line of fire. Others would spend far longer in the front line than usual, usually in the more 'busy' sectors. BBC website Forms of trench art