resources: education materials


Total war demands total commitment

A BBC Multimedia education resource

World War One was Britain's first total war - meaning that the whole of the British population was needed for the war effort. Millions of young men were asked to head to the battlefield. Hundreds of thousands of workers were recruited to power an industrial war machine. The public had to accept years of hardship and civilian casualties as a price worth paying for victory.


The government’s first challenge was to make sure they had enough men to fight. The first two years of war saw a massive recruitment drive, with over a million men volunteering. By 1917, this was no longer a problem; conscription had been introduced. Instead, the government faced a much more difficult problem; to persuade the people of Britain to continue supporting a war that was costing more – in money, resources and lives – than anyone could have foreseen.

This saw the birth of something new in British politics. Prime Minister Lloyd George needed to talk directly to the people and influence their attitudes and their behaviour. World War One was perhaps the moment that modern spin was born.

This series includes 8 chapters on WW1 propaganda

November 2013

A ForcesWatch poster showing policy, cultural and other recent developments affecting the extent of military influence in young people's lives.




June 2013

The youth edition of Journeys in the Spirit provides a range of ideas to use with 12–18 year olds in a Quaker context.

Quakers and the Military includes listening, talking and action points and explores the following questions:

  • What is the military? What are military values?
  • When do we encounter (see/meet) the military?
  • How did Quakers feel about the military in the past, and what did they do about it?
  • How do we feel about the military now?
November 2012

A series of throught-provoking short films: All major religions promote the ideal of peace and harmony, but many also condone the use of violence to defend a just cause. We ask young men and women to fight and die and kill in our name, in wars that many consider unjust and immoral. In the run up to Remembrance Sunday, asks, “Who are the real heroes in war?”


Watch on YouTube
A funny short exploration by a young boy on The Militarization of Boys

June 2012

Up and down the country on the 30th June street parties, picnics and military tattoos are taking place for Armed Forces Day. Despite the rhetoric of tradition, the day is relatively new to Britain's military history, with the first occurrence taking place in 2009, replacing Veterans' Day, which ran from 2006-2009.

Some see the institution of another national occasion relating to the Armed Forces (i.e. in addition to Remembrance Day) as indicative of a growing culture of militarisation across the country. After consultation with parents, teachers and students who are concerned with the unquestioning attitude of acceptance towards the military and their activities in the public sphere, ForcesWatch has produced the following lesson plans and activities for those working in schools and other youth organisations to use, free of charge, with their students or group members. This is a direct response to the materials produced by the Armed Forces for teachers.

Dec 2011

Facts and figures about the UK armed forces including information on number of personnel, military spending, recruitment, terms of service, conscientious objection, job satisfaction, and risk of death, serious harm and pychiatric harm. All references are fully sourced.

June 2011

These BBC radio programmes explore the effect of killing on people in the military, how many are unable to kill and others live with the effects of having killed for the rest of their lives.


a film by Roger Stahl, 2011

Video games like Call of Duty, America's Army, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield are part of an exploding market of war games whose revenues now far outpace even the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. The sophistication of these games is undeniable, offering users a stunningly realistic experience of ground combat and a glimpse into the increasingly virtual world of long-distance, push-button warfare. Far less clear, though, is what these games are doing to users, our political culture, and our capacity to empathize with people directly affected by the actual trauma of war.


Educational resource / quick read published by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom on: militarism and gender, military expenditure, militarism and the environment and international disarmament. With case studies.