Sending a telegram was an important method of people communicating with the front line and back during World War One. A message was tapped out by a telegraph operator on a Morse key machine and sent over many miles of wire to another operator who changed the long and short taps into words. This animation will help to understand how people quickly sent messages to their family, and how soldiers on the front line were able to give information to, and receive information from, the officers in their headquarters throughout World War One.
Pupils could find out about the Morse alphabet or semaphore codes. They could try using it to send a message by tapping on a table or flashing a torch or design flags to use to send messages. Children might discuss how people abbreviated messages to send in a telegram, and compare these to how messages are shortened today - for example, in texting. The children could write a message of no more than nine words (which cost sixpence at the telegraph office) and explore different ways of sending this message to a friend.