Evidence and Resources 

Imperial War Museum visit at half-term
 

History Detectives and their families visited the Imperial War Museum recently for a guided tour and artefact session.

  We started in the WW1 galleries, looking at the ways in which uniforms and weapons changed during the conflict. 

  In the gallery, History Detectives tried out the stadiometer, which was used to measure the height of volunteers wanting to join the British Army. 

   We saw how, soon after war was declared, the Army raised the minimum height to 5' 6" (1.68m) because it was overwhelmed by the numbers of men and boys wanting to join up. 

   As the flow of volunteers dwindled, the minimum height was lowered. These groups were known as 'Bantam Battalions'.

   Here's a link to information about them, in the IWM collections: https://bit.ly/2EJPY1u

   In 1916, conscription was introduced. This meant that men and boys had to join up for military service ih the army, navy or, near the end of the war, in the newly formed Royal Air Force.

   We also saw how children supported the war effort, and had a look at the role of camouflage in the conflict.

   Later, we went into the schoolroom for an artefact handling session.

   Among the items were WW1 helmets, ration books, and WW1 children's comics.