History KS3: Jim Purcell: The boy with no shoes

For Jim Purcell, life after the war was far more comfortable than the years preceding it.

93-year-old Jim experienced extreme poverty before the war and joined the Army as a part time soldier when he was 16.

When the war started he was posted to France and experienced the evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940.

After the war he got married to Betty and moved into one of the new homes built during the period of reconstruction.

He took up marathon running after Betty died and was even invited to carry the Olympic torch in 2012.

This short film is from the BBC series, Our Greatest Generation.

Teacher Notes

As part of a study of World War Two as a significant turning point in British history, your pupils could use this short film to help them identify how Britain changed as a result of the war and how the lives of each of the individuals changed because of the war.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching history at key stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and third and fourth level in Scotland.

More from Our Greatest Generation:

Dorothy Hughes: The girl who broke the rules
video
Gus Bialick: The boy who loved Britain
video
Elaine Kidwell: The girl who loved the Guides
video
Konnie Ho: The girl from Chinatown
video
Freddie Hunn: The boy who loved poetry
video