History KS2: C is for Conscription

Newsreel and commentary describe how Britain introduced conscription in 1916.

The measure boosted troop numbers by two-and-a-half million, but had a huge impact on family life.

A dramatic monologue introduces Elizabeth Draycott, housewife, widow and mother, who tells us how her life has been affected.

Her appeal against the conscription of her youngest son has been rejected and she fears for the survival of her family.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could discuss the impact they think conscription had on families.

Do they think conscription was a fair measure? A necessary one? What do they think the consequences of not introducing conscription might have been?

The class could work together to draft a reply to Mrs Draycott’s letter, explaining why her appeal has been turned down.

Curriculum Notes

This short film might be useful for teaching history at Key Stage 2 / Second Level or above.

More from World War One A to Z

B is for Battalions
D is for Diary
E is for Empire