“I really should go – but…”

Context

Initially, men were enthusiastic about enlisting and there was an early rush to sign up. But by 1915, however, following heavy casualties in the trenches , the need for more troops emerged. This time, there was a marked lack of volunteers.

Research shows that Devon and Dorset appeared to be sending fewer men than other parts of the country, despite exhortations from the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Lord Fortescue, who was particularly angry about Devon’s tardiness.

It was Lord Fortescue who was at the forefront of the organisation of recruitment marches.

Objective

This task invites students to unlock their imagination and put themselves at the centre of a Recruitment March.

Imagine your town….

Method

Try to understand the impact this heady mixture of novelty, patriotism, public expectation and inner doubts had on those witnessing the recruitment march.

If you were a young man, watching the march come to your village, how would you be feeling? Why wouldn’t you want to go to War? What would you do?

Teacher Notes

This task is aimed at Primary or lower ability Secondary children.

To get the best out of the children’s imagination, you can add images, flags, martial music etc in order to set the scene.

This task offers the opportunity for solo work, group work or a homework project. Alternatively students could work in groups to create a story board.

Resources

David Parker Press Notes

Recruitment Information Sheet