History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

Migration 31: How were Caribbean soldiers treated during and after the First World War?

This enquiry focuses on the experiences of Caribbean soldiers who fought on behalf of the British during the First World War.

It links well with the following enquiry (‘Why was Charles Wotten murdered in 1919?’).  Both explore the experiences of Black servicemen during the period.

In this enquiry, students gather information about the British West Indies Regiment, which was formed in November 1915.

Initially, the regiment was barred from active war service (due to stereotypes about the physical and mental capability of Black men), but as necessity demanded the regiment went on to play a key role in conflicts including the Battle of the Somme, as well as in the Palestine campaign.

Students create graphs to show the experiences of Caribbean soldiers, before reflecting on the contextual factors that might go some way towards explaining the changing nature of these experiences.

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  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Worksheet 1 & 2: PDF
  • Resource Sheet: PDF

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