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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:57 am 
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We are going to the WW1 cemeteries/Ypres/trenches etc in May half term with our 13 and 11 year olds.
Both have read some books about WW1 (Michael Morpurgo - whom they hate with a passion - plus dd has read a series of novellas based on real-life WW1 and WW2 experiences and ds has read Biggles which he thinks counts though I'm less sure :wink: ) but quite a while ago.
I can think of lots of WW2 children's books but haven't got great ideas for WW1 and I'd like them to have a little more awareness before we go.
Any ideas please?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:36 pm 
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http://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/child ... lists/187/

These may assist.Unfortunately the only ones that our youngest has read to us have been Private Peaceful and War Horse.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:50 pm 
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Thank you! I'll look at that list...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:31 pm 
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As an alternative to books what about documentaries? Books such as Morpurgos have some elements of fact in them but they are only stories and as such have a lot of artistic licence. I can thoroughly recommend Aces Falling which is about real people and their lives, it can be seen on Youtube, link here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B9_xbeSz5QY

You could research McCudden and Ball (loads freely available out there, Google is your friend) and visit their grave/memorials (can't remember which now, offhand).

If you're going to the Ypres area what about researching Harry Patch who was the last surviving serving soldier of the Great War who died but just a few years ago, you could visit the places he fought in, he's buried at Wells cathedral.

As an alternative to those, go to your local memorial and get your dc to choose one person each, research them beforehand and then go and visit their grave/memorial. Or if you have a family member you could research and visit them.

If you need any help at all I would be very pleased to help :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:36 pm 
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Oh, I meant to say there are loads of really good documentaries and programmes on Youtube, Aces Falling was only really an example (but one of my favourites). You may want to watch them yourself before dc's do as they can sometimes be quite graphic.

Generally anything with Peter Hart in is brilliant, he's an oral historian at the Imperial War Museum in London (having interviewed a great many WWI vets) and has written many, many books on the subject which are highly readable but not quite for children.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:00 pm 
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http://www.qarancassociation.org.uk/ass ... oes-of-ww1

Don't forget the nurses who were in the middle of the carnage.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Oh indeed Guest55, nurses played a major part in the war as indeed many other women did.

Take the munitions workers for instance. Hundreds of women made the munitions at home whilst the men were at war (and it happened again in WWII). It wasn't a safe job at all. In Leeds, for example, the munitions factory blew up killing many women from Leeds, Harrogate, York and surrounding areas. Google the Barnbow factory. A lovely memorial to them is in York cathedral as well as a newer more recently placed one in Leeds.

A truly inspirational woman is Betty Stevenson from here in Harrogate. She was a YMCA worker who (amongst lots of other roles along the way) drove the parents of critically injured men back and forth to hospitals as they weren't expected to live. Betty was caught up in some bombs/firefight from an aircraft (sorry, it's been some years since I read her biography, the details are a little hazy), she didn't survive and is buried over in France. She started out helping Belgian refugees at the age of 16 and went on to give her life for her country - she was 21 when she died. Her full story is available below (a biography written by her mother after her death and a piece by the YMCA themselves). She was known to her parents as 'the happy warrior' which they had written on her headstone. Again, dc's could read her story and visit her grave in France.


http://www.yretired.co.uk/Betty%20Steve ... ARRIOR.pdf


https://archive.org/stream/bettystevens ... a_djvu.txt

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:57 pm 
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In fact I remember being so inspired by Betty's story I went back to a thread I'd started elsewhere and read what I'd originally written. I thought people here might like to read a few extracts from the book, saves you ploughing through it:



"Having recently been digging out some information for a pal on Betty Stevenson, who died during an air raid attack in Etaples aged 21 whilst working for the YMCA, I came across a book printed after her death (the preface transcribed below will inform more fully). I also have (temporarily) in my possession two books which were Betty's. One dated 1908 (she was aged 11) and the other dated 1913 (aged 16) in which she has drawn flowers and birds and made notes on her nature walks.

I have gone through the two 'Nature' books, admiring her talent and giggling at her spelling (her mother despaired of her!) and was able to take pleasure from recognising places she had been (she lived here in Harrogate). I then read the 'Story of Betty'. My how I've been inspired. For one so young she really did have an extraordinary ability of making others feel better about themselves/situation.

Anyhow, in the book there are extracts of letters etc and amongst them is the following, which I thought some of you may be interested in:

Preface:

This story of Betty's twenty-one years has been printed, first because she was one of a big family of friends who loved her dearly, and who wanted to have a record of her life and death which another generation might still remember, when our stories and memories are silent. And secondly, because it seemed to us, who knew and loved Betty best of all, that, although she never thought of it herself, she had a message to give the world.

During the testing years of war, the spirit of England has been kept alive and strengthened by the gallant devotion of those who fought and died for her, and whose motto, whether they knew it or not, was the vow of Blake:

"I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land."

Devotion and self-sacrifice must draw the picture, but, none the less, joyousness and gay adventure may colour it. It was so that our Happy Warrior set out, and so she did her war work to the end.

She could say with Antigone: "I was not born to join in hate, but love." for us at home, with not one word of the peril, weariness, and strain through which Etaples was passing.

We have added a little poem, "The Two Ships," and a little Christmas story, both of which she wrote in 1915. We are grateful to Betty's many friends who have allowed us to print their letters. Each adds something to the picture of Betty.

CGRS
AGS
Betty's parents




Extract from a letter to a grieving mother:

We have just come back from putting the little one in her last resting-place. she had a soldier's funeral, and a beautiful service, and some lovely wreaths and flowers, and I can assure you there was not a soul there whose heart did not ache with sorrow for you.

Olive Stewart-Moore


Another letter:

I feel her dear spirit round the place .........

You see, dear, I was blessed in having her up to the end .............

I must tell you about the funeral, as I am afraid no one properly did. We all went to the soldiers' cemetery and lined up at each side of the little chapel, and waited there till they carried her out, with a Union Jack rolled round just like a soldier. We went up and put our flowers and our love on the top, and the little procession started on its way down, the chaplain in his white robes in front, soldiers wheeling the little carriage; and the bugler; and then we came in twos. I walked directly behind with Effie, and then the drivers, and Lady Cooper and Mr Scott, and all the others.

The Burial Service was read and the 90th Psalm, and the chaplain spoke a few words, telling of her work, and how she had died for her country like a soldier. It was a beautiful and touching service, and was attended by her fellow-workers, people from Boulogne, her soldier friends, and the French sent a French Staff Officer from GHQ, to pay his respects with the others; he stood, a splendid figure, and saluted as she was carried by.

We did not have a hymn as it was a military funeral, but it was a beautiful service, and we had some verses which I have marked in my Bible to show you. And then at the last the bugler sounded the Last Post, and there was not a dry eye amongst us all, and I held on tight to my courage, and prayed so hard for you. Then they lowered her gently in, and we stepped forward and sprinkled her little bed with flowers.

Dear, it was beautiful, and it is a lovely spot with the river and the sea, and the woods all over the other side. She went home with all her courage, and a smile on her dear lips, and her lovely soul had gone without suffering.

Olive Stewart-Moore"

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:48 pm 
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Thank you for your deeply moving posts Snowdrops if you have the time please post more.

You made reference to the Imperial War Museum in London earlier and the first hand accounts of First world war veterans held there.I recall going in person and listening to the audio accounts held there by Indian war veterans in both world wars.For some of these you need appointments but access to other exhibits and records may be available online. These are important historical records as veterans fade from history.There is much to absorb from the Great War just walking around.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:02 pm 
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Have you considered WW1 poetry, maybe? I quite enjoyed a book called 'Minds at War' which is an anthology with added biographies of the poets and also a lot of historical material. http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/minds_p1.htm


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