World War Two Stories from the Wakefield District

Teachers' notes

This resource is aimed at KS3 and explores the stories of five local men who fought in World War Two.


By comparing and contrasting the lives of the soldiers, students will gain insights into the significance and impact of ‘total war’ on local men and their families.


Students can examine primary sources such as photos, newspaper articles and official documents and gain experience in gathering and interpreting historical evidence from them. T hey can read about Ernest Glover who died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and learn how Douglas Thompson’s experiences shaped his life after the war.


These unique stories were collected from local people and family historians by Wakefield Libraries ‘We Will Remember Them’ project which was funded by the Big Lottery via the MLA’s ‘Their Past Our Future’ (TPYF2) programme.


The stories and the accompanying downloads can be used both in group work and whole class teaching.


The accompanying Resource Guide for Teachers lists additional sources for further research, available in Wakefield Libraries.


Curriculum Links:

History KS3 - Unit 18 ‘Hot War’: ‘Cold War’

Section 5 What do local people remember about the main conflicts


Learning Outcomes: 

  • To gain a deepening understanding of what it meant for local people to live through’ total war’.
  • To gain skill at gathering and interpreting historical evidence from primary and secondary sources.
  • To empathise with others and to value and respect the service of the soldiers.
  • To be inspired to find out more about the experiences of local soldiers and families at war by using the research guide, the links page and/or visiting a library

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