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					War Memorials
Introduction
Every town and village has a war memorial. They provide an interesting source of
evidence for the history of WW1. This series of lessons is based on the memorial in
Cottenham, Cambridgeshire and can easily be transferred to your own locality. Taking the
class to the memorial is the best strategy but if this is challenging, take lots of close up
digital pictures so your students can see the detail.
•     Can the experiences of local people really tell us about the significance of WWI?
Every town and village has a war memorial. They provide an interesting source of
evidence for the history of WW1.
This series of lessons is based on the memorial in Cottenham, Cambridgeshire and can
easily be transferred to your own locality.
Taking the class to the memorial is the best strategy but if this is challenging, take lots of
close up digital pictures so your students can see the detail.

Rationale
*    Students have completed a sequence of lessons on the fighting on the Western Front
     and on ways this has been interpreted through poetry, film, novel, etc. before doing
     this work.
*    Refer to Andrew Wrenn's article in Teaching History on memorial sites, 'Emotional
     Response or Objective Enquiry' May 1998 Issue 91.
•    The GREAT criteria refers to Rob Phillips significance criteria as set out in his
     Teaching History article.
•    Refer to Christine Counsell's article on significance in Teaching History Issue 114.

National Curriculum References
History
KE 2d, 2e, 3 & 4

Citizenship
1fg, 2a, 2b, 2c




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Lesson 1: Can stone speak?
What does the local war memorial suggest to us about how Cottenham was affected by
war?
Students should learn to:
*     Make inferences about the significance of WWI / WWII by examining the memorial in
      detail.
*     Develop hypotheses about Cottenham in war using the memorial.
*     Consider the purpose of [war] memorials.
*     Question the utility of the memorial as evidence.
1. Walk to the war memorial 5 minutes from the college in order to stimulate interest in
local experiences of war and to generate questions.
2. Allow students to walk around the memorial and look closely at what is on it, where it is.
The memorial is for WWI and WWII and students may use this detail in some of their
discussion but the following lesson focuses on WWI.
3. Using a laminated worksheet, note down types and examples of historical information
the memorial contains. Perhaps describe the statue on top too. Discuss what information it
contains for our enquiry.
4. Students also note down questions/hypotheses in response to what they see, to be
used in the subsequent database lesson. E.g.
   • Were the people young?
   • Who was the youngest?
   • How did they die?
   • Where?
   • Which battles?
5. Discuss what information it does NOT contain.
6. Discuss why it is here and its purpose. Consider Andrew Wrenn's factors for evaluating
historic sites as interpretations of history ie
   * Commemoration (Main purpose of the site is to keep alive the memory of a past
        event.)
   • Preservation (Main purpose of the site is to preserve evidence of its past use.
   • Attraction (Main purpose of the site is to attract visitors.)
   • Education (Main purpose of the site is to educate visitors.)
7. On return to the classroom, share the questions pupils have raised and record them.
Generate hypotheses about the experiences of WWI, which they can go on to test and
research.
8. Look at photos of the memorials. Encourage student, if they live in different areas, to go
and look at their local memorials before next lesson and see what similarities/differences
there are.

9. Student hypotheses need typing up prior to next lesson.




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War Memorials – Resource 1: pictures




Cottenham




Tiepval




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    Worksheet 1 Was WWI the GREAT war for the people of Cottenham?

A                                                                                      C
How many people died during the First World War?
                                                                                       What was the average of death?

Were any of those who died related?
                                                                                       Which was the worst theatre of war (Europe? Asia?)?

What was the youngest/oldest age of soldiers who died?
                                                                                       Which type of soldier died younger/older?

How many different ways did people die?
                                                                                       Did younger people die as the war went on?

How many died in France? Did they only die in France?
                                                                                       Who was the “unluckiest” family?

                                                                               My Questions:


B
Did anyone win any medals?

Those over 18 could be „called up‟ for service?
So, were there any volunteers who died in France?                                  Hints and Tips for Queries:
                                                                                          Always use criteria 1914-1918 to search WWI only.
Were there any officers from Cottenham who died?                                          Try using ASCENDING/DESCENDING to sort names, dates or ages into order.
                                                                                          Use *wildcard* to find certain words/dates/numbers in a field.
What new/different types of jobs did people do in WWI?
                                                                                          To find ages LESS THAN use <

Were any relatives killed on the same day in the same battle?
                                                                                          To find ages GREATER THAN use >




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      If you want to exclude some entries try using not (E.g. not private)




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Lesson 2
Was WWI the GREAT war for the people of Cottenham?

 Students should learn to:
    Interrogate a data file and extract information in order to ask and answer questions
     about the experiences of local people during WWI
    Use the GREAT criteria in order to organise information
    Test hypotheses using a database and reach conclusions
    Question the utility of the data file for the research

Starter
Show image of Cottenham memorial to recap on the questions pupils want to ask now.
Compare to a) Other village memorials and b) Thiepval (recently visited).

Open up data file on the Cottenham Roll of Honour. Begin with quick quiz to recap filter
techniques learnt previously. This will lead to Bert Lack, Cottenham‟s most decorated war
dead.

Main activity
Students then open up file of hypotheses and begin to answer these using the various
aspects of the database.

Examine the GREAT criteria* and begin discussion of how these „facts‟ will help examine
significance. E.g. what evidence is there it was Terrifying?

Students select facts and place them into table of WWI historical hypotheses, thus
organising their evidence and helping them to create historical arguments and reach
conclusions.

Begin to question how useful the data file is in answering this question – what of those
who were not soldiers or who did not die? What might they tell us?

Plenary
In pairs pupils decide if WWI was the „Great’ war. Each pair creates a conclusion using
the criteria to be read out.

Homework See War Memorials, Resource 5 homework.

For Resources 2a and 2b, please see separate Word files




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War Memorials – Resource 3


   Was WWI The GREAT War
       for the people of
         Cottenham?

                     Groundbreaking
                           Remembered
                 Effects that are far
                                    reaching

               Affecting the future
                                  Terrifying

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War Memorials Resource 4
        Was WWI The GREAT War for the people of Cottenham?

          Hypotheses about            Evidence from Cottenham database                    What questions does
          WWI                                                                            this bring up about the
                                                                                             war in general?


           “The First World
            War was a new
G
           kind of warfare –
             with modern
             weapons and
             technology”



           “The First World
            War was a war
    R       which gave us
            heroes – these
           men were brave”




           “The First World
          War was not really
    E      a „world war‟ – it
          was only fought in
            France. So, its
          effects are small.”




           “The war had no
           respect for class
            or rank. It made
    A        men equal as
          different men died
               together.”




            “ This was the
           most terrible war
          of the 20th Century
    T      – frightening and
                 costly.”


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War Memorials – Resource 5 Homework
Was WWI The GREAT War for the people of Cottenham?

Groundbreaking
Remembered
Effects that are far-reaching
Affecting the future
Terrifying
HOMEWORK:
1. Print out the table completed during the lesson, as you will need this.
2. At home you must write an answer to the question, „was the First World War really the
GREAT war for the people of Cottenham?’ Put this as your title.
3. Follow the guide below to help. You will need to write at least 5 sentences, one on each of
the GREAT words above.
For people from Cottenham the war was groundbreaking because they used new
technology to fight with. For example, we found…




The war was also remembered because…




We found from the database that effects were far-reaching because it was fought in
different places. For example…




We also know that it affected the future. The war affected Cottenham because…




Most of it must have been terrifying for Cottenham men. This is because…



Lesson 3
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Does the experience of local people reveal the „truth‟ about WWI? How does it
compare to the BIG picture?

Students should learn to:

 Analyse textbooks to determine how historians have judged/argued the significance of
  WWI
 Compare the findings of the local and national experiences
 Reach conclusions about the typicality of Cottenham‟s experience and reliability of the
  database
 To use other significance criteria, such as remarkable or revealing, in order to examine
  Cottenham‟s experience

Starter
Begin by examining a series of covers for books on WWI aimed at different age groups.
Students annotate these using a „layers of inference table‟ in order to decide what
interpretation the author is offering us. Why is the war significant in this book?

Main activity
Examine the content of a book and using a similar table to previous lesson of historical
hypotheses based on the word GREAT, students find evidence in the book of WWI‟s
significance. Reach conclusions about …..
      whether we are still taught that WWI was the GREAT war.
      have interpretations changed?
      how and why?
Using this analysis and prior learning on WWI and Cottenham‟s war dead, students
compare the experiences.
 • Did Cottenham soldiers take part in a new kind of warfare?
 • Can they be regarded as brave and heroic as others?
 • Was it a World war for Cottenham?
 • Were most people privates?
 • Did it make men ‘equal’?
 • Was it costly? Etc…
Debate whether Cottenham‟s experience was typical or unique. Use Counsell‟s 5 Rs
significance criteria and decide if Cottenham‟s experience was remarkable or revealing. To
do this, pick up on some of the individual stories such as the brothers who died together
on the first day of the Somme.

Plenary
Finish with Bert Lack who won a Military Cross. Students debate whether plaque should
be put up.

Homework: write a letter to the local council/Cottenham History Society to argue that a
plaque should be put up/street named to remember him.


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Lesson 4

Which war was more significant for the people of Cottenham?

Students should learn to:
   Interrogate a data file and extract information in order to ask and answer questions
    about the experiences of local people during WWII
   Test hypotheses using a database and reach conclusions
   Compare the similarities and differences to WWI in order to analyse which is
    „GREAT‟.
   Question the utility of the data file for the research

Starter
Begin by using clues to search database to find a WWII character (E.g. Captain Brackenbury
– fascinating story) or a place where people fought, etc. Quick fire quizzes + feedback.

Main activity
Step up challenge by asking them to find out the average age of death during WWII (use
REPORT). How does this compare to WWI? Use this to consider hypotheses for WWII. Is
it ‘great’?

Using the „Hypothesis worksheet from Lesson 2, students use the database to test a
series of hypotheses about WWII linked to the GREAT criteria. Encourage students to also
set and test their own hypotheses for extra challenge.

Students now compare their findings to WWI. Write a paragraph on each of the GREAT
criteria, deciding which war was more significant to Cottenham in the various aspects.
Give specific examples to support these conclusions.

Finally they need to carry out an evaluation of the resources they have used
(memorial/database). Consider what they were able to find out and what they were NOT
able to find out from each (E.g. those who didn‟t die! How people reacted, etc.).

Then return to question of purpose and audience of the memorial.

Concluding activity
Students could work towards a PowerPoint presentation on the experiences of Cottenham
at war. This could also be widened to include the civilian experience with extra time and
resources, perhaps even using local veterans.

This would involve extra time to complete than is allowed for in this sequence of learning.




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Lesson 5: Why bother rebuilding ruined monuments?

The final lesson in the series takes the issues of significance and interpretation into the
present and into a Citizenship context of conflict resolution. Linking with the examination of
the significance of local war memorials in Britain one part of this lesson may focus on the
reconstruction of the Frauenkirche in Dresden. Students will need to understand the
historical context of the bombing of Dresden as a controversial issue where there is some
content overlap with the previous four lessons. It is possible to use the resource sheet
„Rebuilding the Frauenkirche‟ as a straightforward tool for class discussion with the four
questions at the end as prompts. Equally it is possible to use the GREAT criteria again to
assess the significance of the bombing of Dresden itself and apply Wrenn‟s site evaluation
factors to the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche.

It is also possible to address some of the same issues by examining the opening of the
reconstructed bridge at Mostar using „Peace in Mostar‟ as a resource. Which is drawn from
an article from the BBC website. The questions at the end of the resource could be used
as a useful prompt for discussion. Wrenn‟s site evaluation factors could be a used as a
means of evaluating issues of significance and interpretation to the rebuilt site. The focus
of this discussion is on the Citizenship issue of conflict resolution.

The class could make use of both resources in this way

1. Divide class into groups and give each group one of the
   two stories. Ask groups to work out the answers to the
   questions.

2    Ask each group to report on one of the questions and discuss the answers with the
     whole class in order to make comparisons between the stories. Identify the factors
     which are similar and those which are different in the answers to the questions.

Consider an answer to the question:

Does the rebuilding of ruined monuments assist the process of reconciliation between
opposing groups of people?




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War Memorials – Resource 6
Rebuilding Dresden‟s Frauenkirche: a symbol of conflict resolution

On the night of 13 February 1945 the German city of
Dresden was attacked by fleets of British and American
bombers. The attack was devastating. The city was crowded
with refugees who were escaping from the advancing
Russian army. In the packed streets of the old city a
firestorm developed which destroyed thousands of houses
and other buildings. 35,000 people were killed: so many that
the authorities had to cremate some of the bodies in public
squares in order to reduce the risk of disease.

Dresden was the capital of the eastern region of Saxony.
During the eighteenth century the city had been filled with
beautiful buildings. It was generally regarded as one of the
finest cities in Europe. Indeed, many Germans had believed
that Dresden would not be attacked for this very reason. They were mistaken.

One of the few buildings to survive the firestorm was the Frauenkirche [Church of Our
Lady]. This huge building, constructed in the 1740s, had, for two centuries, been a symbol
of all that was best in Dresden. Two days after the bombing, however, the central dome of
the church collapsed. For the next fifty years the Frauenkirche remained a pile of rubble.
The communist authorities who governed the city after 1945 wished it to remain that way,
as a permanent reminder of the brutality of the western allies.

In 1990 Germany was reunited, and the communist government fell from power.
Discussions began very quickly about what should happen to the Frauenkirche. Many
people wished it to remain in ruins, and to continue to serve as a war memorial. They
                                        pointed out that only about 20% of the stonework
                                        survived, so that it would not really be a rebuilding
                                        but creating a copy. Would such a copy really serve
                                        much purpose in the 21st century?

                                       Despite this, groups of volunteers began to raise
                                       money for the rebuilding project, which got under
                                       way in 1994. The volunteers argued that the rebuilt
                                       church would restore the historic beauty of
                                       Dresden‟s skyline. Just as important, it would stand
                                       as a symbol of reconciliation, and humanity‟s ability
to recover from even the worst disasters. A lot of money came from Britain, where the
attack on Dresden had always been controversial. The cross for the top of the new
Frauenkirche was also made in Britain – by a man whose father had been a bomber pilot
in the 1945 raid!

By 2004, the exterior of the Frauenkirche had been rebuilt at a cost of 300 million Euros.
This cost has also been criticised. Work on the interior was scheduled to finish the
following year, and the Frauenkirche will be rededicated in October 2005.


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A useful website can be found at www.frauenkirche-dresden.org/ which shows the
rebuilding at various stages over the past ten years, and includes video clips. Remember
to click on the English language symbol!

   How was the Frauenkirche destroyed?

   What reasons, apart from those mentioned above, might people have for wishing to
    leave the Frauenkirche in ruins?

   How convincing do you find the arguments in favour of rebuilding the Frauenkirche?
    Explain your answer.

   Do you think it is important to have a symbol like this to show that a conflict has been
    resolved? Explain why.




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War Memorials – Resource 7
Mostar bridge opens with splash
A team of high divers and dancers in
traditional dress joined celebrations to
mark the reopening of the historic bridge
at Mostar in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

The 16th-Century bridge was blown up during
the bitter fighting in the Bosnian war between
the city's Muslims and Croats in 1993.

Its reopening is being seen as symbolic of the        Performers came from both sides of the ethnically divided town
healing of divisions between Muslims and
Croats.

Fireworks exploded in the sky in the culmination of Friday's noisy ceremony.

The new bridge proves "hope triumphs over barbarism", said Lord Ashdown, the top international
representative in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Tradition revived

More than $13m has been spent on restoring the elegant, single-arch structure and surrounding
buildings.

One of the highlights of Friday's celebrations
came as, one by one, nine men leapt from the
bridge into the rushing waters of the Neretva
river below.

It is the revival of an old tradition by which
young men prove their bravery.

Hundreds of Mostar's citizens, international
dignitaries and tourists watched the ceremony       The spectacular diving display revived an old Mostar tradition
perched in cafes.

"The destruction of this great bridge a decade ago brought home to millions around the world the
full force of the evil that was happening here," Lord Ashdown told the crowds.

"I hope and believe that its reopening today will be an equally powerful moment."

More than 2,000 people took part in the programme, including bands, singers and dancers from
both sides of the ethnically divided town.




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The vicious war between Mostar's Muslims and Croats which led to
the destruction of the bridge ended 10 years ago. The city has
made progress in that time, bringing former enemies together.

But Murray McCullough from the European Commission in Mostar
says there is still a long way to go.

"The wounds are very deep. They're very fresh and you just can't
say hey, you know, 10 years, let's forget about it.
                                                                                The reconstruction of the
"This will take time."                                                      Old Bridge is a victory for
                                                                            Bosnia-Hercegovina, ethnic
                                                                            coexistence and tolerance
The hope is that the reopening of the bridge will bring new tourists
and new money to the city and encourage both communities to
                                                                     Sulejman Tihic
work together more in the future, says the BBC's Nick Hawton.        Bosnian presidency head

'A great future'

Arching across the Neretva river, the Stari Most, or Old Bridge, has been reconstructed using the
same methods and materials which the original Turkish architects employed nearly 500 years
ago.

"The bridge has a great future and something that is not a mosque or church, it's something for
all people in general," said Amir Pasic, the man in charge of restoring the bridge.

"It's beautiful, it's simple, it's symbolic because crossing the river
is something, you know."

The old bridge had been a symbol of Bosnia's multi-ethnic society.

Its destruction by Croat forces in November 1993 graphically
illustrated how relations between Bosnia's Muslims, Serbs and
Croats had unravelled, descending into all-out war.

Today, the town's Croats and Muslims largely maintain that                  Mostar's old bridge before, during
separation, sending their children to different schools and keeping         and after the war
to their respective sides of the Neretva.

They even have different mobile phone area codes.

The bridge's rebuilding has been welcomed by many, says our correspondent, but no-one is
underestimating the gaps that still remain between Bosnia's ethnic groups.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk



Explain how the bridge was destroyed.

Why was it important to rebuild the bridge?

Have all the problems between the two communities been resolved?

How might the reconstruction of the bridge help?


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                           http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3919047.stm




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