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Pupils quiz WW1 soldier
13th November 2019
Modern technology has provided pupils at the High School of Dundee with a unique way to mark Remembrance.
As Armistice Day approached, F4 History pupils had the chance to ask a First World War soldier about his experience of life in the trenches, courtesy of a video conference with the National Archives.
During the special session, the pupils were able to put questions to Pals Battalion Private, Henry Fairhurst (played by a professional actor), in order to gain a revealing insight into what it was like to serve on the front line of the Western Front.
Over the course of an hour, the young Historians were able to learn from the soldier why he had signed up; whether he’d ever had trench foot; what his rations were; and even if he thought war was a good idea.
And in addition, Private Fairhurst was able to reveal that before the war he'd been a miner, that he'd initially believed that war was a good idea but wasn’t so sure now, and that he hadn’t left a girlfriend behind but was hopeful the British Government propaganda would be correct and he would get one when he returned home in his uniform.
History and Modern Studies teacher Lucy Jack, said, “Henry told the pupils all about life in the trenches - including all the gory details like his experience with trench foot, how some soldiers would try and cause a “Blighty wound”, and why the Scottish soldiers particularly hated mustard gas.
“It was a really interesting way to bring History to life and for the F4 pupils to get the opportunity to put their knowledge into action.”