Commonwealth War Grave Commission
I became really interested in Commonwealth War Grave Commission a few years ago when I discovered the tragic story behind it's beginning.
Rudyard Kipling was desperate to enlist his son in the glorious war, and managed to pull a few strings to get him in. However, his son had terrible eyesight, and should never have been allowed to join. His son, known as Jack, was last seen on his first day of battle, confused and unable to see, having lost his glasses early in the battle.
Rudyard never forgave himself, and his view of the Great War was turned around. He was instrumental in starting the Imperial War Graves Commission, which has resulted in this astonishing, and thought provoking database giving details of every single Commonwealth service person and many civilians who have died in conflict since World War I.
I usually start the children looking for their surname. There is often someone in the class who has heard of a great grandparent who died in WWI.
I have produced this worksheet to look at some significant and thought-provoking entries in the database.
An Introduction to War Poetry - Year 7, 8?
I've never really liked war poetry much, but Rudyard Kipling lead me, somehow, into this poem Dulce et Decorum est (the original handwritten version is here). In this worksheet get the pupils to look up the meaning of the title ('It Is Glorious and Sweet', in Latin). I never made a great teacher as I liked to be a bit subversive, and this is a great poem to show the sarcasm that Wilfred Owen was using. Linked with Rudyard Kipling's original attitude, that the war was a 'bally good show', and it was 'glorious and Sweet' to go off to fight in these marvelous battles, when you actually read the poem it talks of the disgusting filth and obscenity of the battleground, and the horror of gas attacks.
World War One Research Project
Finally, I've also used this file with classes, and it combines some of the facts above.