Hampstead’s war heroes: eight servicemen who were buried at home

 

We remember the courage of people who have fought in wars for their country each year on November 11th – the day that the first World War came to an end. Most of them were ordinary people who died, or were wounded or who found that life was never the same again – war changes people. None of us knows how we will respond until we have faced real danger, but courage is a surprising quality that often emerges when it is most needed.

 

Subject Areas

History – Britain since 1930/ local history study: the reasons for and effects of conflict; Use of ICT resources for online research

Citizenship – Understanding social justice and moral responsibility, respecting differences, making difficult choices

Activities

1 Find a war memorial near you and choose a name of someone who died in the first World War. See how much you can find about him and his family. The following websites will help you – there is a lot you can find out free by simply looking at the record summaries:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

1911, 1901, 1891, 1881 and earlier Censuses

Birth Marriage and Death registers

 

2 Remember the TV news stories about soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan? What do you think life is like for them now they are home? How do you think things have changed since the first World War for wounded soldiers or for families who lose a loved one?

See charity site http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/  and BBC newsreel and pictures at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8353290.stm

 

3 Can you think of other examples of people who show courage and bravery – either in serving the community (eg firemen, paramedics, policemen) or in dealing with difficult circumstances (eg disability, poverty, rejection)? How do you think you would handle a major challenge like these? How would you want other people to treat you?

 

Further resources

The Library of Congress has a good photo of a WW1 battlefield at http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/3005522855/sizes/s/in/photostream/

Burgh House, Hampstead has an exhibition of the History of Hampstead; this includes war time information and an aerial photo of where bombs were dropped in Hampstead and the surrounding area [from “Hampstead at War (1939 – 1945)”, Camden History Society, 1977], as well as photos of war damaged houses.

WW2 People’s War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. Chris Dell, a Hampstead resident, contributed his memories of living through the Blitz at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/60/a3816560.shtml .

For general background images of war, see Pathe Newsreels at http://www.britishpathe.com/workspaces/AnnaLovewell/World-War-1 and http://www.britishpathe.com/workspaces/ackie16/World-War-2.

And for a 2009 story about finding family members lost since the first World War, see http://www.channel4.com/programmes/wwi-finding-the-lost-battalions

 

This page was last updated on February 5th, 2013.

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