Tales of Te Papa resource masthead


World War I Letters from the Front

Episode:118Te Papa Collection:History

Suggested curriculum levels:4 – 7

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Social Sciences: Continuity and Change

Description:Twelve thousand New Zealand soldiers died in World War I. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in remembering the soldiers who lost their lives so far from home. The mementoes of one soldier represent those who were not able to leave anything behind to tell of where, when and how they died.

Questions for students

  1. Carry out research to find the places where New Zealand troops fought and died in World War I. What do you know about communication between New Zealand and those parts of the world in 1914-18?
  2. Watch the video again and list the items that were in the small canvas bag sent to Herman Rolfe's mother. What personal items do you think a modern soldier would carry with him?
  3. How did Rolfe's mother come to learn so much about her son's death?
  4. What connections can you make with this Tale? Use the 'Connections and conclusions' response template to record your connections. What conclusions can you draw about the memories of soldiers killed in battle?
  5. Mike Houlihan says there has been a huge increase in the number of people visiting war memorials and viewing soldiers' mementoes. Why do you think this is so?

Related templates:

Connections and conclusions