WW1 claimed the lives of over 800,000 British soldiers. Of those returning from the frontline, 250,000 soldiers were permanently maimed in some way.
The war had a huge appetite for lives and supplies. But for people working in the munitions industry, lives improved as a result of the war; high output depended on good health, so medical checks were provided, canteens built and even crèches set up.
To understand how greatly people’s lives changed during the events of the First World War, students could produce ‘life charts’ for each member of the Ellis family or for real-life case studies. They could list ‘Pre-war’ and ‘Post-war’ columns and underneath each heading they can describe the events and attitudes in relation to their place within society at that time. How did a housemaid-turn-factory worker experience the war? How did a business man-turn-officer experience it?