History GCSE: The Imperial scope of a European War

David Olusoga reflects on the global scope of World War One and the millions of non-European people who took part in the war.

He visits the starting point of the war where Alhaji Grunshi fired the first British shot fired against German troops in Togoland.

He discusses the impact of the war on Africa and we hear from historian Santanu Das who suggests that World War One is remembered as a white war despite the contribution of millions of people from the colonies of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

This clip is from the series The World's War.

Teacher Notes

This could be used as a stimulus for an investigation into the role and impact of empire citizens in the First World War.

Students could begin by mind mapping what they know about the war, and what it may suggest about traditional perspectives on the conflict.

They could then devise open and closed questions about the involvement of empire troops, to be answered at the end of their project.

Curriculum Notes

These films are suitable for teaching History at Key Stage 4 in England, Wales and Norther Ireland and at 4th Level in Scotland.

More from The World's War

La Force noire - West African troops in the French army
Audio evidence from Empire Soldiers in World War One
Different cultural cooperation in World War One
Indian deserters caught up in a Wartime strategic mission
Multi-cultural Troops
Overcoming racial stereotypes in World War One
The Chinese Labour Corps in World War One
The experience of African American soldiers in Europe in WW1
The Indian Royal Flying Corps fighter Ace