Hardship and loyalty

In this lesson, students will explore some of the hardships that soldiers experienced, such as dirty conditions, injury and risk of death. They will also begin to explore the idea of committed service – why do they keep fighting when they know they are risking their lives? What role does loyalty and patriotism play in leading people to fight and remain committed despite the destruction they see around them? The range of material selected here will enable the teacher to provide a broad lesson on the topic or to focus in on one element of ‘how bad was the war?’ depending on the students’ ability to understand the themes or to accept some of the horrors of war. The key themes covered by the selected sources are: day-to-day existence; war propaganda used to inspire loyalty and patriotism; long-term injuries; loss and hardship. The selected material is not exhaustive and further sources can be used to support these themes.