Ways of communicating with troops were limited at the start of the war. Dan Snow sets up an experiment to illustrate how hard communications would be today without modern technology. Two teams are set a challenge to locate certain individuals in London – one large team is restricted to using simple, visual methods while another smaller team can use mobile phones. The exercise highlights the need for good organisation, clear instructions and good discipline, and shows the problems which arise when plans change – something that led to many deaths during the war.

This clip is from:
World War One Centenary

Use Dan Snow’s experiment as the starting point for an investigation into the types of communication available during the war. Pupils could document the effectiveness of these methods in conveying orders and reporting back from the front. They could try a similar exercise for themselves round the school grounds.