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Description

Joe Crowley helps a team of four pupils uncover the story of Jutland Jack, a 16 year old sailor who won the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery during the battle of Jutland in 1916. The children use investigative historical techniques to uncover how the young boy, who came from their neighbourhood in London, died at sea. He was manning his gun on board the HMS Chester during a ferocious sea battle in the North Sea in 1916. Using mobile phones to record information found on his gravestone and researching national archives to examine his naval record, the children discover John Travers Cornwell, known as Jack, became a national hero. They meet a relative of a man who served during the battle to hear personal testimony and examine the type of guns Jack used. These guns are now on display at the Imperial War Museum. The children examine coverage of the story and its effect on national morale by reading contemporary newspaper accounts. They discover that the widely circulated picture of Jutland Jack was actually one of his brothers as no pictures of Jack existed.
First broadcast:
27 March 2012

Classroom Ideas

After viewing the clip, the children could look at a street map of their area to identify any streets named after local people. Challenge pupils to discover what they can about individuals who have been commemorated by having local buildings or streets named after them. As well as internet sources, the children might use a dictionary of biography, a local area guide, or a tourist office to find out more. Children could photograph the buildings and streets in question and give a presentation with a slideshow to another class. You might also ask a group of children to research the history of the Battle of Jutland, using books, digital resources and the web. These children too, could compose a presentation and slideshow about what they have discovered.

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