Newspapers of the War

gallipoli sketch
(Click to see a larger version of this front page)

The firm Historic Newspapers has produced a WW1 teaching aid which they are offering to schools free of charge. they have kindly sent me a copy, and I am rather impressed.

It is a booklet of twenty-six newspaper pages from the War, and tells the story as it would have been received by readers of the Daily Sketch and the Star. It begins with an issue celebrating the arrival of the BEF in France, and goes on to chronicle the death of  Nurse Cavell;  the retreat from the Dardanelles; Jutland (‘How our Navy stopped Raid on England’);  the death of Kitchener (‘Tears in the War Office for England’s Greatest Soldier’); London air raids (‘Law Court Stoics: Judge and Counsel Not Worried by Frightfulness’); the capture of Jerusalem; and finally the Armistice (‘Kaiser’s Flight to Holland: Haggard and Near the Breaking Point’).

The front pages are the most striking, but there are some inside pages reproduced too, some with snippets of the kind  that doesn’t usually make the history books. I liked this short news story from November 11th, 1918:

 

complaint

The booklet includes four pages of the Armistice edition of the Star. Any teacher who wanted to get across to his or her students the extent of the joy in Britain on the day the War ended could do much worse than give them this collection of events of the day, some of them bordering on the surreal, collected in the Star as ‘The Maddest Merriest Day’ (Click on it for a more readable version):

armistice star

I wish the paper had managed to get a photo of that sheepdog.

For more information about the booklet and other resources, teachers should contact historic-newspapers.co.uk.

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