School children learn the horrors of World War One
YOUNG historians examined relics from the Great War as they were given insight into the conflict to commemorate its 100th anniversary.
Historian Rob Thompson visited SS Osmund and Andrew’s RC School in Breightmet, to speak about the war which has shaped their lives and the influence of which still resonates today.
Academic Mr Thompson, who describes himself as a accidental military historian after taking a module not by choice at university, said: “It is absolutely vital young people are aware of the war — no matter where in the world you are from your family will have been affected by it.
“Your blood will be on the battlefields.”
Children had a chance to see some of the artefacts from the Great War, including the rifle and bayonet, helmet, spade and hand grenades as they found out about the enormity of the conflict, the countries it involved and the few it did not, such as Spain.
Young people found out more about the lethal weapons used in war, and were told bullets were more likely to kill in the most horrific ways than maim as they do in films and that conflict is not like the popular play console war games popular amongst children.
Mr Thompson said: “I hope the talk will stimulate interest and given them an idea of what was going on when they hear people talk about it.
“I hope they walk away and ask questions.
“The children have good knowledge of what happened and it needs to put into context and hopefully this will help them sort it.”
The historian added that he hoped teaching young people about conflict would help prevent future wars — but added: “history says no”.
Children said they enjoyed the interactive history lesson.
Emily Eaton, aged 10, said: “It was a really good lesson, I have learned a lot about things I didn’t know, like what happened what the soldiers experience when at war and the importance of the helmet.”
Josh Brockbank, aged 11, added: “This is the first time we have seen what was brought in outside of a museum, it was really interesting and we had a chance to hold them.
“It is important to learn about World War One because of the 100th anniversary.
“He was a really good teacher.”