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Why and how do we remember the First World War?

Over 16 million people died during the First World War, and for many individuals the impact would continue to affect their lives after the Armistice.

Presentation + Life Stories + Activity = Your Lesson!

Introductory Presentation

Use this ready-made PowerPoint to introduce Lives of the First World War to your class.

Download (14MB)
Choose your Life Stories

Pick Life Stories to investigate and download the Powerpoint containing primary sources relating to that person.

Life Stories
Follow the Activity

Take a look at our suggested activities to try with your class, as well as other IWM resources that relate to the theme.

Next step

Use Lives of the First World War to research names on your local war memorial - this could be a school memorial to former pupils, or a town or community monument.

Create a Community

Recommended Life Stories

We have selected Life Stories connected to this theme. Download the pack of sources connected to the Life Story.

Photo of Robert Edward Adeney

Robert Edward Adeney

Robert was taken prisoner and died of wounds

Download Pack
Photo of William Alexander Beal

William Alexander Beal

William died on board a submarine, and is buried at sea

Download Pack
Photo of Edith Louisa Cavell

Edith Louisa Cavell

Edith was accused of being a spy and executed by German authorities

Download Pack
Photo of Gobar Sing Negi

Gobar Sing Negi

Gobar Sing Negi earned the Victoria Cross, and is commemorated with a special stone

Download Pack
Photo of Charlotte 'Lottie' Meade

Charlotte 'Lottie' Meade

Lottie died of TNT poisoning after working in a munitions factory

Download Pack
Photo of Alexina Dussault

Alexina Dussault

Alexina died on board a hospital ship, which was torpedoed in 1918

Download Pack

Suggested Activities

1. Use the facts, images, evidence and stories on Life Story pages to compare and contrast individual experiences - think about similarities and differences between these people’s lives.

  • How have they been remembered?
  • What are the key themes in their stories? Consider concepts such as identity, separation, friendship, love, bravery and loss.


2. Study one of the sources in detail. When was it written, and for what purpose? What does it tell you about the person’s Life Story? Pick out details about their age, background and family. How does this information relate to their wartime experiences?


3. Create a mini exhibition based on one person’s story. Select three sources from the person’s Life Story page, and create a title and theme for the exhibition.

4. Encourage creative responses inspired by a Life Story, such as poetry, letters, art, drama, music, or dance.

  • How have they been remembered?

Activity Resources

Supported by

The Charles Skey Charitable Trust


We really enjoyed using Lives of the First World War ... the student feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

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Help IWM piece together the Life Stories of over 8 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth who served in uniform and worked on the home front during the First World War.

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