History Mystery

On Thursday 20th January, Mr Patterson from Uppingham School came to deliver a talk to our Year 5-8 pupils about using evidence to find out about the past.

It was based around the true story of Private John Barnes who had been shot for desertion in WW1 and his mother’s attempts to get his name engraved on a war memorial.

Pupils worked hard to analyse the meaning and significance of various source materials (including one document that bore the signature of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, the controversial military leader) in order to find out whether Private Barnes’ treatment was justified.

Having in depth discussion with Mr Patterson using his expert knowledge of the First World War, raised many interesting questions for the pupils and we started to understand the huge dilemmas facing both generals and soldiers on a day-to-day basis in wartime at the Front.

It was an enlightening afternoon and gave children valuable training in how to cast a critical eye over information presented to them – an increasingly necessary skill in today’s information saturated world.