Highcliffe Historians at 'The Great War Debate'

Highcliffe Sixth Form history students traveled to Bath to take part in a Question Time-style debate on WW1, chaired by BBC Newsnight's Mark Urban

    The debate, chaired by BBC Newsnight’s Mark Urban, was hosted by Hayesfield School in Bath. Taking part were a panel of renowned historians and WW1 experts, who helped lead the discussion, including public engagement officer Catherine Long, conflict archaeologist Dr. Matt Leonard, Dr. Toby Thacker, a senior lecturer in modern European history, and historian and senior research fellow Dr. Emma Hanna.

    Students learned about propaganda, the social impact of the war, how we remember the fallen and about groups that have sometimes been forgotten in commemorations.

    Charlie, Year 12, said: “I found the debate really interesting. Not only did the panelists answer the questions I had, they also challenged some of the views I previously had about WW1.” He added, “It was great to see genuine pieces of military equipment and to hear how the war impacted on people abroad as well as at home.”

    Here are some of the great questions our students put forward to the panelists in the debate – really pushing the panelists to think about their answers.

    “One of the panellists mentioned the breaking down of class barriers as officers grew close to lower rank soldiers, did this changing attitude toward class divisions make it easier for men to accept that women would now have a different role in society?” - Jacques, Year 12

    “The panel has widely discussed the impact of the Great War on British soldiers, what impact was there for Empire Troops? And did the role of troops from the British Empire lead to a change in the way people that settled in Britain from the Empire were viewed in British society?” - Charlie, Year 12

    Toby, Year 12, wrote this report on the coach home, feeling inspired after the trip.

    “The bus journey was quite a short one but we managed to have a lot of fun playing music and debating getting ourselves warmed up and ready for the main event of the day - ‘The Great War Debate!’

    After lining up outside in anticipation to be allowed in, we entered the room where Dr Matt Leonard, archaeologist and historian, talked us through what the daily lives of soldiers who spent at least 60 days a year on the front line were like and also showed us the weapons they would have been using while they were fighting.

    As the debate started, each member of the panel introduced themselves telling us what they do and who they were. Each of the panellists started with points they each wanted to make about WW1 and the impact on society from their point of view. We were very vocal putting points across to the panellists and asking questions, we really made them think!

    The debate was exciting and a great insight into a university professor’s interpretation of questions from a panel regarding the social changes because of World War 1.

    After the debate we were able to go back and get our hands on the items that real soldiers used, this included a warped lee Enfield rifle that was used on the northern part of the Somme. We also had to ask the panellists any questions that we weren't able to ask in the debate.

    This trip was a great experience and really allowed us to get involved in debating as well as learning about the social effects of World War 1. I would recommend the trip to any budding historians!”


    Owned by: HMY | Last Published: 05/03/2018 14:37:23 | Next Update: n/a


Highcliffe Historians at 'The Great War Debate'


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Highcliffe Historians at 'The Great War Debate'

Highcliffe Sixth Form history students traveled to Bath to take part in a Question Time-style debate on WW1, chaired by BBC Newsnight's Mark Urban

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