Back to School: Lives of the First World War Teaching Resources

IWM Q 32704 Sergeant Major Flora Sandes (right) chats to a Serbian officer

IWM Q 32704 Sergeant Major Flora Sandes (right) chats to a Serbian officer

As teachers across the UK prepare for back to school, this is the ideal time to browse the Lives of the First World War Teachers Hub. Now with our ready-to-use resources, schools can pick from individual Life Stories linked directly to Key Stage 3 History themes:

  • Recruitment and Conscription
  • The British Empire
  • Trench Warfare
  • Beyond the Western Front
  • New Technologies
  • Remembrance

Here is just one the fascinating Life Stories that is included in this exciting, free resource – the only British woman to officially serve as a soldier in the First World War.

 

Looking back I seem to have just naturally drifted … from a nurse into a soldier.

From the records discovered on Lives of the First World War, we found that Flora was born in Poppleton, Yorkshire in 1876. Before the war she was involved with St John’s Ambulance Brigade, and took the opportunity in 1914 to go to Serbia with a nursing unit. Flora then served with a Serbian medical unit and in her own words, “naturally drifted” into a military role. Her potential as a soldier, in particular her riding and shooting skills, was soon recognised and she rose through the ranks from Private to Sergeant Major.

 

  • “Our Joan of Arc”
IWM Q 32702 Sergeant Major Flora Sandes of the Serbian Army walks through Salonika in January 1917

IWM Q 32702 Sergeant Major Flora Sandes of the Serbian Army walks through Salonika in January 1917

Sergeant Major Sandes fought with the Serbian army during the campaign which resulted in the fall of Monastir. She was wounded by a Bulgarian hand grenade and was subsequently decorated with the Cross of Kara-George. Flora was known as “Our Joan of Arc” by the Serbians.

  • Find out more about Flora through the Teachers Hub resources
  • Download primary sources, try our suggested activities, or be inspired to create your own project.

 

 

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