Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by East Riding MuseumsHeritage Learning and Normanby Hall Country Park.

This resource explores how some men were exempted from the conscription draft which forced most able-bodied men to join up to fight the war. 

Curriculum Links

  • KS3 & 4 History: World War One

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of conscription during the First World War and how men might be exempted from the draft
  • Understanding of how decisions were made about conscription
  • Skills in analysing and understanding historical evidence

Discussion Ideas

  • Look at the images of Scheduled Occupation Certificates Why do you think G W Whitlam and William Robinson’s jobs were scheduled as important for the war effort?
  • Look at the photographs of War Service Badges . What do you notice about the design? Why do you think they are stamped with the year?

  • Watch the film about North Lincolnshire farmers Sydney and Arthur Markham Do you think it was fair that the Markham brothers had to go to war? - Would you feel differently about this if they had survived the conflict? - According to the film, what was the impact of the war on the Markham family? How do you think the family felt about the decision? 

Activity Ideas

  • Research the Military Service Act and find out about the four grounds for exemption.
  • Do you think local tribunals were a fair way of deciding who should be exempt from conscription? What might be the advantages and disadvantages about making these decisions locally?
  • Design your own War Service badge.

Internal Links

More resources on My Learning related to this subject area include:

First World War Propaganda in the Humber

Training Men to the Soldiers in the First World War

Agriculture During Wartime in the Humber