History KS3 / KS4: Going over the top

Infantrymen recall the tense hours in the trenches prior to an attack.

As they went over the top, anxiety was replaced by terror as bodies fell all around.

Machine guns, rifles and shells all presented a serious threat to soldiers advancing towards enemy lines.

But even after suffering heavy casualties, units regrouped, reformed and got ready for the next attack.

This is from the series: I Was There: The Great War Interviews

Teacher viewing recommended prior to use in class

Teacher Notes

Key Stage: 3

Students are asked to identify the main obstacles which would prevent a soldier reaching the enemy trench and decide which would be most difficult to overcome.

Key Stage: 4

This is used as part of a starter activity into an investigation into why the war got bogged down in the trenches.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History at KS3, KS4/GCSE, in England and Wales and Northern Ireland

Also at Third Level, Fourth Level, National 4 and National 5 in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, CCEA GCSE and SQA.

More from the series: I Was There: The Great War Interviews

Horace Leslie Birks interview
video
John Willis Palmer interview
video
Attrition
video
Life as a munitionette
video
Life as an officer during WW1
video
One woman's loss
video
Recruiting soldiers in WW1
video
Respite
video
How did shell shock affect soldiers?
video
The Christmas truce, 1914
video
The Gallipoli campaign
video
War in the air
video
Being a pilot in WW1
video
Changes on the home front during WW1
video
Death and survival
video
Fighting in the trenches
video