History KS1 / KS2: S is for Shrapnel

Newsreel and commentary describe the effects of shrapnel during World War One.

Shrapnel shells caused more injuries than any other weapon of the war years.

A dramatic monologue introduces field surgeon Elsie Inglis, a pioneering Scot who worked in field hospitals in Serbia.

She tells us how women are helping to deal with a range of threats such as shrapnel injuries and infections such as typhus and dysentery.

Elsie looks forward to a world after the war, where women enjoy equality with men - and the right to vote.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 1

Elsie Inglis was commemorated on fifty pound notes issued by the Clydesdale Bank in 2009.

Pupils could examine images of the note and of other banknotes that feature famous faces of the past.

Which figure of World War One do pupils think deserves to be commemorated by a bank note?

The children could argue for their favoured candidates and draw their own banknote designs featuring them.

Key Stage 2

Pupils could find out more about the life of Elsie Inglis, using books and websites to help them.

The children could also research the suffragette movement before the war. In her onscreen monologue, Elsie expresses the hope that women will gain the right to vote when the war ends.

Do pupils think Elsie’s own example help to advance the cause of equality? Did the war change the perception of women in Britain’s national life?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching History at primary school ages for Key Stages 1 and 2, or First and Second Level.

More from the series WW1 A to Z

R is for Remembrance
T is for Trenches
U is for Unsung Heroes