History GCSE: Cyril Jose

Cyril Jose joined the Devonshire Regiment, even though he was only 15 years old.

Extracts from his letters describe his experiences in the trenches and the impact on him of the 1916 Somme offensive.

After the offensive came to a halt, Cyril and other underage boys were sent to a special camp until they were old enough to fight again. When he reached the age of 19, Cyril was sent back to France where he participated in the final campaign against the Germans.

After the war, Cyril returned home a changed man, maintaining a suspicion of authority figures for the rest of his life.

Contains scenes that some viewers may find upsetting. Teacher review recommended before using in class.

This film is from the series Teenage Tommies.

Teacher Notes

The class could be asked to compare Cyril’s attitude towards the war when he joined up, with how he felt by the end of it. What reasons might explain the change in his attitude?

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching history. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.

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