History KS3 / KS4: How did shell shock affect soldiers?

British, Canadian and German soldiers describe the physical and mental strain of being under shell fire.

They describe the terror and the strange behaviour it caused in some men, and the small strategies others developed to cope with being trapped by incessant shell fire as a way of preventing the onset of shellshock.

Others only found relief when the barrage was lifted and they were instructed to go over the top.

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 explore the differing ways that life under shell fire affected soldiers.

They make notes under headings: physical; psychological; short term; long term.

Key Stage: 4

This is used to introduce an investigation into trench life.

It is presented as one interpretation of trench life, and students have to put together a critical view of trench life using this as a piece of evidence.

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

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