History KS2: P is for Post Office

Photographs, newsreel and commentary examine the role of the Post Office in conveying messages and parcels from home to British Tommies in the trenches.

An estimated two billion letters and parcels were delivered to the front during World War One.

A dramatic monologue introduces Percy Bale, a post orderly in the Hampshire Regiment.

He describes his daily duties at the front and the presents, such as woolly socks, chocolate, cigarettes and cakes, that friends and relatives put in their parcels.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could search in books and online for examples of messages sent to soldiers in the trenches.

Institutions such as the Imperial War Museum and theNational Archives publish examples of letters online, which provide rich sources of information.

Children could share their discoveries from these letters and the class could record a soundtrack of quotes from various letters as a lasting memorial of the everyday cares and concerns of individuals caught up in the conflict.

Curriculum Notes

This short film might be useful for teaching history at Key Stage 2 / Second Level or above.

More from World War One A to Z

O is for Owen (Wilfred)
Q is for Quartermaster
R is for Remembrance