Black servicepeople honoured in new History resources

Richard Watts

Head of British Army Supporting Education. A former secondary school teacher with over a decade of classroom experience, Richard now oversees school engagement activity for the British Army.

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The British Army has launched new resources to recognise Black British, African and Caribbean people’s contribution to the history of the British Army with curriculum links to History and PSHE.

These free digital resources for key stages 3 and 4 include an assembly and lesson plan to help students understand the stories of Black British, African and Caribbean service people who have often been unfairly excluded from the history books and help students consider some of the reasons for and effects of these omissions.

The Army’s Black History Resources

Supported by consultancy from The Black Curriculum and BlackPoppyRose, the assembly resource profiles service people from throughout history, while the interactive lesson resources offer source materials to help students explore the contributions and stories of Black Britons, West and East Africans and Caribbean service people during World War One. The resources also offer examples of the role of Black women in the armed forces and document case studies of a Trinidadian, British and East African (from the Tanzania-Malawi border region) woman during WWI.

J Ahle, History Teacher at Abraham Moss Community School said: “The resources are excellent, really useful and provide a strong grasp of the diversity within the British Army. I will certainly be using them within my department.”

Major Jennifer Close said: “We’re very pleased to release these resources for Black History Month 2020. These resources address the important historic contributions by Black British, African and Caribbean service people and help facilitate discussions on race and diversity in the classroom.”

Sergeant Major Alhaji Grunshi of the Gold Coast Regiment, 1918

The Importance of Black History

These resources also aim to explore the importance of Black History within the wider curriculum. Questions at the end of each resource help facilitate discussions that address the significance of Black History Month and studying Black History more broadly and how this relates to modern discussions on race and diversity, including reflections from current Black soldiers to help build student’s discussions.

Selena Carty, Founder of BlackPoppyRose said: “History has so many layers, we are now exploring a wider narrative to be able to understand the impacts of choices made in the past. These Army Black History education materials are an extremely useful resource to start an overdue conversation.”

King’s African Rifles on the march, 1916 Image Credit: National Army Museum, NAM. 1965-06-73-14

Where are the resources available?

You can download the resources now at:

 Looking for more resources to support your teaching and learning? Check out the best education technology resources on our sister platform EdTech Impact.

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