Blind Veterans of the First World War

Teachers' notes, activities and linked resources

Curriculum links:

KS2-4 - SMSC - British Values
KS2-3 Citizenship – the roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society
KS2 History – WW1 - Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
KS3 History – WW1 - Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day

Aims of resource: 

To explore the role played by St Dunstan's in WW1 and the importance of charities in wartime and modern Britain

Learning objectives:

Knowledge of the role played by St Dunstan’s during WW1
Understanding of the consequences of WW1 for individuals and the efforts to support blinded ex-servicemen and women
Skills to analyse and interpret a variety of historical sources

Discussion ideas:

  • Why were charities like St Dunstan's needed in WW1?
  • Can you think of any other charities that support service personnel today?
  • What support and services are available to blind people today that might not have existed in WW1?
  • What do you think life would be like today without the NHS or government support for disabled people?
  • Why do you think St Dunstan's focused on training members?
  • What does the history of St Dunstan's reveal about WW1?

Activity ideas:


KS2 -  Citizenship:
Plan a fundraising campaign
Look at the examples of WW1 fundraising by St Dunstan's. Find out more about the work of Blind Veterans UK (as St Dunstan's is known today) via their website. Case studies of modern soldiers are available to read on the site (see link below). Linked activities might include:
- Design a collection box or poster for Blind Veterans UK 
- Plan a fundraising event for the charity

KS2-3 - Citizenship/Art & Design
Take a look at the characters used by St Dunstan's for publicity in WW1. Read the stories of David Melling and the case studies of modern Blind Veterans members. Create a character to represent the charity either today or in WW1. Think about:
- How your character reflects the aims of the charity
- How you can show the work the charity does
- How are disabled people represented in the media?
- Can you turn over any prejudices people might have about blind people and what they can do?

KS3-4 Citizenship - Volunteering/Community work
Using the example of Blind Veterans UK or focusing on another charity of their choice, pupils could investigate the role played by volunteers with UK charities. 
- Their findings might be presented as a presentation to the class. 
- After conducting research, pupils could also engage in a debate about volunteering for charities, for instance asking whether volunteering is always the right option. Should people be paid for some voluntary roles? Does charity work sometimes fill gaps the government should be covering?

View other relevant My Learning resources or scroll down for a list of links and resources on this topic.




 
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