History GCSE: A diary of a Belgian priest living with colonial troops in WW1

David Olusoga, explores diary evidence from Belgian priest Father Achiel Van Walleghem on the diversity of British soldiers on the Western Front.

The diary reveals impressions and clues about the lives of soldiers from India and China.

A new personal everyday perspective is provided in contrast to official records.

Teacher Notes

This could be used as an activity to start an analysis of the relative utility of official government records versus personal evidence. Students could continue by comparing and contrasting examples of both, ideally on the same aspect of the war.

Curriculum Notes

These films are suitable for teaching History at GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at National 5 in Scotland.

How the colonies made WW1 a global war
video
The Chinese Labour Corps in WW1
video
British Indian soldiers who deserted to get home
video
La Force Noire - West African troops in the French army
video
The African American war hero who had to fight for France
video
Overcoming racial stereotypes in France in WW1
video
Indian soldiers and friendship in WW1
video
Voices of Indian soldiers in WW1
video
The Indian flying ace of WW1
video