The First World War brought together many soldiers from across the world, in particular those from the Empire countries. Into these stretches of trenches came over two and a half million men from the far-flung corners of the globe including India, The Caribbean, South Africa, Canada, Newfoundland, Australia and New Zealand, some came as volunteers but some did not.
This meant the full implications of this global conflict were really felt around the world, even in those places where no fighting took place. The Western Front was a key place that the men and women of many different nations would find themselves fighting side by side, regardless of colour, race, nationality or religion. For many people this was their first encounter with different people from across the Empire. During our tour to the Western Front, we will tell you many of the stories of these men and women who found themselves far, far away from home, how they maintained their national, cultural and religious identities in such difficult circumstances.
We will visit the battle sites where they fought, some of the many memorials and monuments which stand as testimony to their bravery and pay our respects at their final resting places, in the Commonwealth War Grave Cemeteries where those who did not get to go home now lay. We will also learn about those left back home, reading the letters sent to and from the front, which will allow us a small insight into what life was like at the front for these men and women and their families waiting at home. We will explore the issues of racism and prejudice that some of them encountered and the camaraderie experienced by the others.
The battles would claim the lives of hundreds and thousands of men from all sides, the contributions made by the many now Commonwealth countries who answered the call, coming from all corners of the globe, must never be forgotten. They served along our UK forces, defending the freedoms we enjoy today and the sacrifices they made are clear to see from the many memorials and cemeteries throughout the Western Front, visiting those sites helps to bring their stories alive.
Key Subject Knowledge
- Medicine and medical evacuation
- Women and the First World War
- Diversity and the range of troops that served and where they came from
- Technology and how it changed over the war
- The Pals Battalions
- Daily life in the trenches
- The relationship between the Home Front and the Western Front
- Propaganda and communication
- Commemoration and legacy
Also available supporting elements of wider Humanities (geography, English, social sciences and citizenship)
- The battlefield and the physical landscape
- War poetry and war artists
- Decision making in the British Armed Forces and the relationship between politicians and Generals
- The different faiths that were in the British Forces