LIFE AND DEATH IN THE TRENCHES. Year 9 History Assessment on the First World War. 1914-1918.
“Living and fighting in the trenches was a terrible and terrifying experience for all the soldiers involved” What evidence is therefor and against this statement?
In this assessment you will find out about conditions in the British trenches on the Western Front during the First World War. • You will use a range of SOURCES: • Photographs. • Diaries • Memories of old soldiers. • Film. • Textbooks • Songs • Poems • Statistics
The resources you need can be found on www.sirbernardlovell.s-gloucs.sch.uk Look for the eportal >HISTORY. > Yr9. Click on Trenches Assessment for the questions. Click on Trenches Assessment Writing Frame to write your answers. Don’t forget to save it first. Click on Life and Death in the Trenches to find sources. You need to use the sources not copy them.
Photographs Soldier on sentry duty Barbed wire Timber bridge over top of trench No Mans’ Land Helmet, uniform and rifle are British Timber holding up back of trench. Capes used as cover No sandbags. Trench may be damaged Bottom of trench is dry. It could be summer. Are these soldiers asleep or dead? This photograph does not looked posed as the soldier seems unaware of the camera. It is probably a reliable source. Water cans.
Source A.1. What does Source A tell us about the trenches? 2. How reliable is this source?
Source B.3. What does Source B tell us about the trenches? 4. How reliable is this source?
Source C. Diary EXTRACT FROM THE DIARY OF JULIAN GRENFELLA young poet, killed on 26 May 1915 "I adore war. It's like a big picnic . . . I've never been so well or happy. No one grumbles at one for being dirty. I have only had my boots off once in the last ten days and only washed twice.“ 5. What does Source C tell us about life in the trenches? 6. How reliable are diaries written by soldiers in the trenches?
Source D. Letter. Captain Lionel Crouch wrote to his wife about life in the trenches in 1917. Last night we had the worst time we've had since we've been out. A terrific thunderstorm broke out. Rain poured in torrents, and the trenches were rivers, up to one's knees in places and higher if one fell into a sump. One chap fell in one above his waist! It was pitch dark and all was murky in the extreme. Bits of the trench fell in. The rifles all got choked with mud, through men falling down. 7. Why is source D (letter) so different from Source C (diary)?8. How reliable are letters from soldiers about life in the trenches?
Source E. Casualties in the First World War.9. What are casualties?10. How bad were British casualties compared with other countries?
Source F. Silent Film. The Battle of the Somme. This film was made before and during the Battle of the Somme by filmmakers working for the British Army. It was the world’s first full-length war documentary. It was shown in British cinemas in August 1916. Over the next three months almost half Britain’s population had gone to see it. The film is a silent film (talkies do not arrive until 1929). When it was shown it would have been accompanied by a live piano or organ. Title frames provided information. 11. What could the film tell us about life in the trenches? 12. What could the film not show?
Battle of the Somme.Film.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpRc6lx_7wg&feature=relatedPart of the original 1916 film
Source E. BBC Documentary. 2002. The Trench. Why was it produced? A docudrama to show people how living and fighting in the trenches affected the soldiers. A reconstruction of events in October 1916 taken from the War Diary of the East Yorkshire Regiment (the Hull Pals). What does it tell us? Trench routines e.g. duties, sleeping, eating, shaving, washing, foot inspections, keeping warm. Soldiers only spent 5-10 days in direct contact with the enemy. Rotated every few days. Bombardments. Gas attacks. Raids. Standing to. Friendships. Leisure? Roll calls. When and where did they sleep?How important were letters? What did they eat and drink?The average British soldier gained a stone and a half in the army. Sentry duties: 1 in 3 soldiers at night. 1 in 10 soldiers in the day time. What did soldiers miss most? How reliable is it? A lot of research was done to make sure it was as authentic as possible. However the “soldiers” knew that they were only acting.
13. What did this film tell us about life in the trenches?14. How reliable was this film?
15. Using the sources and your own research explain why some soldiers found the war so terrible and others found it bearable? • Terrible? • This is easy! • Bearable? • Friendship? Adventure? Adrenaline? • Rotation? • No more than five to ten days a year in direct contact with the enemy. • Jobs in the army that kept you away from the front line? • Personality? • Physical health? • Mental health?