History GCSE: Audio evidence from Empire Soldiers in World War One
David Olusoga explores the story of Mall Singh, one of thousands of Indian soldiers who fought for the Allied Powers in World War One.
Singh was taken prisoner by the German army, which made audio recordings of captured Indian soldiers as part of their study into ethnic differences.
While this recording was made for sinister purposes, it has become a valuable piece of historical evidence for making sense of the contribution of Empire troops to World War One.
This clip is from the series The World's War.
This clip could be used to illustrate the differences between 'source purpose' and 'source utility': explore why the Germans recorded these voices, and contrast that with its usefulness to historians beyond that intended purpose.
Students could be encouraged to discuss why the experiences of Empire soldiers are so seldom recorded in writing, and suggest other alternatives to researching their perspectives.
These films are suitable for teaching History at GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at National 5 in Scotland.