Your students will share one hour in the life of a soldier from a Pals Battalion, Private Henry Fairhurst, played by a costumed actor, as he talks about why he joined up and what life is like in the trenches.
Your students are encouraged to engage with the soldier during the workshop and ask him any questions they like about his life in the trenches: from what he thinks about the war; the aims of the conflict and how it is being fought; to the time he wakes up in the morning; and what he does in his free time. Was it really all mud and blood in the trenches, or did Pte Fairhurst see some benefits in what he was doing?
A range of original documents from The National Archives is used as evidence for his story, such as battalion war diaries, trench maps and soldiers' files. Students can use the information they have gained during the workshop to complete a profile of Pte Fairhurst and fill in replicas of the documents we hold about him. As a follow up to this workshop, students will be encouraged to think about the usefulness and reliability of this form of historical interpretation as a piece of evidence, by considering what sources and information the actor used to recreate this role.
A pack of preparation materials with suggestions for questions to ask and copies of Pte Fairhurst's documents will be sent to you in advance of the session.
This session can be delivered as a
- Virtual classroom