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The Last Tommy - MOD Responds ... Excellent news

#1
Firstly: Sorry about not putting it in with the main thread but this is good news.

Just had a letter from my MP (Mike Foster) enclosing a letter from Don Touhig (Under-secretary of State for Defence - Minister for Veterans)

Mike Foster to me:

Following my enquiries on your behalf I enclose a copy of the reply I have had from the MoD about the Last Tommy.

As you can see they are taking on board the recent suggestion of ways to commemerate this special generation, and I will keep you informed of any developments.


Don Toulig To Mike Foster


Thank you for your letter of 10 November to John Reid enclosing an email from one of your constituents xxxxx xxxxx, enquiring about Government plans to honour the passing of the final British survivor of the First World War. I am replying as this matter falls within my area of responsibilty.

I know that there is much interest in this subject ans we are currently in the process of considering an appropriate way in which the Service and sacrifice of those who took part in the First World war can be marked. With the death of one of the older veterans earlier this weekI am conscious that time is of the essence and I shall write to you agin as soon as I am in a position to outline how we plan to commerate the passing of that very special generation.

I hope this is helpful
 
#2
Good stuff, though as usual with this government they appear to be caught on the back foot:

With the death of one of the older veterans earlier this week I am conscious that time is of the essence and I shall write to you agin as soon as I am in a position to outline how we plan to commerate the passing of that very special generation.
It's hardly as if the passing of a generation of soldiers is something that they couldn't predict and plan for... :roll:
 
#3
DozyBint said:
Good stuff, though as usual with this government they appear to be caught on the back foot:

With the death of one of the older veterans earlier this week I am conscious that time is of the essence and I shall write to you agin as soon as I am in a position to outline how we plan to commerate the passing of that very special generation.
It's hardly as if the passing of a generation of soldiers is something that they couldn't predict and plan for... :roll:
Might not have been but they may have misjudged the publics feelings towards this particular generation. There seemed to be a lack of interest from all but the military communities to the men that survived the First World War but the last 5 years or so has perhaps seen British regain a little bit of the pre-Thatcherite compassion for the sacrifices made
 
#4
Looks to me to be the standard reply letter everyone else is getting! So, success over getting notice, but until we get that letter saying "we will definitly have a stater funeral" lets keep bombarding them! If Prince William goes to Sandhurst this Jan, maybe some of the January entrants can slip him a leter to give to his Gran!
 
#5
Commander_Vimes said:
DozyBint said:
Good stuff, though as usual with this government they appear to be caught on the back foot:

With the death of one of the older veterans earlier this week I am conscious that time is of the essence and I shall write to you agin as soon as I am in a position to outline how we plan to commerate the passing of that very special generation.
It's hardly as if the passing of a generation of soldiers is something that they couldn't predict and plan for... :roll:
Might not have been but they may have misjudged the publics feelings towards this particular generation. There seemed to be a lack of interest from all but the military communities to the men that survived the First World War but the last 5 years or so has perhaps seen British regain a little bit of the pre-Thatcherite compassion for the sacrifices made

I think they should teach Military History at school as a side topic to 'normal' history.That way the sacrifices made by the few should not go forgotten.
Spike
 
#6
I studied GCSE and A' Level History, covering 1815 - 1970 European History, excluding both World Wars and all British History. Without Dad's teaching in my early years and my own interest later on I'd not have known anything about our own history - a ridiculous state of affairs.
 
#7
DozyBint said:
I studied GCSE and A' Level History, covering 1815 - 1970 European History, excluding both World Wars and all British History. Without Dad's teaching in my early years and my own interest later on I'd not have known anything about our own history - a ridiculous state of affairs.
Just to say the National Curriculum for history shows that the majority of history taught is BRITISH HISTORY.

Shocked and slightly perplexed to hear that you would have studied two modern European history courses with out even looking at WW1 or WW2, nor Britian's role in major European events: such as the Congress system, trade, the Crimean war, the Rise of germany, the Imperial scramble or post war Europe. Just to add it was your school which chose your GCSE and A-Level Syllabus.
 
#8
castlereagh said:
DozyBint said:
I studied GCSE and A' Level History, covering 1815 - 1970 European History, excluding both World Wars and all British History. Without Dad's teaching in my early years and my own interest later on I'd not have known anything about our own history - a ridiculous state of affairs.
Just to say the National Curriculum for history shows that the majority of history taught is BRITISH HISTORY.

Shocked and slightly perplexed to hear that you would have studied two modern European history course with out even looking at WW1 or WW2, nor Britian's role in major European events: such as the Congress system, trade, the Crimean war, the Rise of germany, the Imperial scramble or post war Europe. Just to add it was your school which chose your GCSE and A-Level Syllabus.
That's interesting, I studied modern history to GCE 'O' level and it seemed almost exclusively military history starting with the Boxer Rebellion onwards.
 
#9
castlereagh said:
Shocked and slightly perplexed to hear that you would have studied two modern European history course with out even looking at WW1 or WW2, nor Britian's role in major European events: such as the Congress system, trade, the Crimean war, the Rise of germany, the Imperial scramble or post war Europe. Just to add it was your school which chose your GCSE and A-Level Syllabus.
I'm well aware of that. Those courses were studied in the early 1990s and things may well have improved, but it doesn't change the fact that two education authorities chose to teach a syllabus that excluded the teaching of domestic history.
 
#10
DozyBint said:
castlereagh said:
Shocked and slightly perplexed to hear that you would have studied two modern European history course with out even looking at WW1 or WW2, nor Britian's role in major European events: such as the Congress system, trade, the Crimean war, the Rise of germany, the Imperial scramble or post war Europe. Just to add it was your school which chose your GCSE and A-Level Syllabus.
I'm well aware of that. Those courses were studied in the early 1990s and things may well have improved, but it doesn't change the fact that two education authorities chose to teach a syllabus that excluded the teaching of domestic history.
Just a question - but in the courses you studied was the Role of Britain completely excluded? If it was then I understand, if it wasn't you just looked at history at another angle. Also your school chose the syallabus on what the teachers had knowledge of, what they thought you (the children) had most chance of passing and what they thought could interest the students.
I think there needs to be debate on why teach history? Do you want more as a force of nationalist social cohesion or should it be more about pupil's intellectual and cultural development and the transferable skills that can be learnt from history.
 
#12
castlereagh said:
DozyBint said:
castlereagh said:
Shocked and slightly perplexed to hear that you would have studied two modern European history course with out even looking at WW1 or WW2, nor Britian's role in major European events: such as the Congress system, trade, the Crimean war, the Rise of germany, the Imperial scramble or post war Europe. Just to add it was your school which chose your GCSE and A-Level Syllabus.
I'm well aware of that. Those courses were studied in the early 1990s and things may well have improved, but it doesn't change the fact that two education authorities chose to teach a syllabus that excluded the teaching of domestic history.
Just a question - but in the courses you studied was the Role of Britain completely excluded? If it was then I understand, if it wasn't you just looked at history at another angle. Also your school chose the syallabus on what the teachers had knowledge of, what they thought you (the children) had most chance of passing and what they thought could interest the students.
I think there needs to be debate on why teach history? Do you want more as a force of nationalist social cohesion or should it be more about pupil's intellectual and cultural development and the transferable skills that can be learnt from history.
It wasn't really until my degree that we really focused on British history, some of it was brand new to me. I think it is incredibly important for students to learn about their past, to learn about how their society came about and more importantly how and why the mistakes of the past were learnt. Skills can still be learnt by doing that, rather than having to learn about some of the crap we covered in history
 
#13
tsar_Nikolas said:
It wasn't really until my degree that we really focused on British history, some of it was brand new to me. I think it is incredibly important for students to learn about their past, to learn about how their society came about and more importantly how and why the mistakes of the past were learnt. Skills can still be learnt by doing that, rather than having to learn about some of the crap we covered in history
Forget the original message - All I will say is this. I think part in the problem lies in perception of what 'history' is? School's history as a discipline has changed from the old chronological, mono-centric view of history to a more multi-polar one and so much for the better imho. In education at least, I think that school history has always been used a force of social cohesion and that the majority of history in any curriculum through the ages still remains British-centric in its views. For example - the average history teacher is going to have a British or at western-centric history degree, not one focusing on History of Africa.

It may be that that as time goes on, the importance of history in the school curriculum has decreased and so pupils are taught less history and as a consequence are being taught less British history. The aim therefore seems to be to teach pupils the most relevant history you can in ever decreasing lesson time. The problem I think also lies at the primary stage - what is primary school for? Nowadays it seems like most Primary schools are crammer schools for KS2 sats in English, Maths and Science. Other subjects get 'project time' if they are lucky. It also interesting to note that Britain is the only country in Europe that allows pupils to drop history, for most countries it is actually a 'core' subject.
 
#14
From what I remember...formation of the french third repblec, tsarist russia, formation of Germany, the rush for africa (which I guess is 'kinda' about Britain) causes of the first world war and the league of nations. 'A' level history pretty much followed this too...
 
#15
castlereagh said:
tsar_Nikolas said:
It wasn't really until my degree that we really focused on British history, some of it was brand new to me. I think it is incredibly important for students to learn about their past, to learn about how their society came about and more importantly how and why the mistakes of the past were learnt. Skills can still be learnt by doing that, rather than having to learn about some of the crap we covered in history
Not being flippant but could you say what you quickly summarise what you studied pre-university and what you focused on at university?
It would just help with what I understand your definition of 'British History' to be and clarify some other issues.
If it's any help, the current AS/A level History Curriculum is dealing with the Stuarts and I think the Russian Revoloution, she has previously covered (during GCSEs) WW1 and Nazi Germany(which touched broadly on the Second World War). A lot of the time the Curriculum is about half a dozen or so subjects that are covered on a rotational basis so it seems to be "pot luck" on the British History.
 
#16
tsar_Nikolas said:
From what I remember...formation of the french third repblec, tsarist russia, formation of Germany, the rush for africa (which I guess is 'kinda' about Britain) causes of the first world war and the league of nations. 'A' level history pretty much followed this too...
Thanks for that! I think in addition to my revised message - we are lucky to live in a country that can trace its offcial unified history back to 1801 and its unoffical unified history centuries even before that date. So what do you teach? Especially when history as a sucject is becoming as I understand it more and more marginalised? The are also important issues of relevancy and comparison, part of the mis/fortune lies in the fact that Britian has such a rich and complex history therefore it sometimes important to understand 'non-British' events and to fully understand our own history.
 
#17
Commander_Vimes said:
castlereagh said:
tsar_Nikolas said:
It wasn't really until my degree that we really focused on British history, some of it was brand new to me. I think it is incredibly important for students to learn about their past, to learn about how their society came about and more importantly how and why the mistakes of the past were learnt. Skills can still be learnt by doing that, rather than having to learn about some of the crap we covered in history
Not being flippant but could you say what you quickly summarise what you studied pre-university and what you focused on at university?
It would just help with what I understand your definition of 'British History' to be and clarify some other issues.
If it's any help, the current AS/A level History Curriculum is dealing with the Stuarts and I think the Russian Revoloution, she has previously covered (during GCSEs) WW1 and Nazi Germany(which touched broadly on the Second World War). A lot of the time the Curriculum is about half a dozen or so subjects that are covered on a rotational basis so it seems to be "pot luck" on the British History.
I guess you have it there C_V, modern history teaching in regards to 'British History' in regards to post 14 provision does seem to have an element of pot luck provision when it comes to teaching of 'British History' but as I said earlier I think it is important that pupils do have a wider comparative view of events, just for pure history's sake.
 
#18
When I was at school in the late 70's,the British history side of things was barely covered at all in history.We learnt about the Crusades,Roman Empire,but little British history.
I was watching a quiz show the other week & one of the questions was 'in what war was the 'Battle of the Bulge?'.The contestant,in his 30's I'd say,answered 'Vietnam'!
But here's a thought...We here are trying to get HMG to recognise the sacrifices made by the Tommy's in WWI.Unless the current generations are educated,who'll (apart from us here) remember the sacrifices made by folk like my Dad in WWII?Will there be a campaign for their recognition?
I certainly hope so.
Spike
 
#19
spike7451 said:
When I was at school in the late 70's,the British history side of things was barely covered at all in history.We learnt about the Crusades,Roman Empire,but little British history.
I was watching a quiz show the other week & one of the questions was 'in what war was the 'Battle of the Bulge?'.The contestant,in his 30's I'd say,answered 'Vietnam'!
But here's a thought...We here are trying to get HMG to recognise the sacrifices made by the Tommy's in WWI.Unless the current generations are educated,who'll (apart from us here) remember the sacrifices made by folk like my Dad in WWII?Will there be a campaign for their recognition?
I certainly hope so.
Spike
I totally agree about the need to of modern pupils to recognise the sacrifice of ordinary people in both world wars and when I have mentored in schools - if you contextualise say the history of WW1 and WW2 by highlighting the role of that their grand parents or great-grand parents or other relatives may have played in either war - even the most apathetic student becomes wants to learn. It's such a shame that in regards to veterans testimony - which can be at times the most brilliant weapon in teaching of the WWs - the government, schools and dare I say it BL and other military organisations have neglected so much 'living history'.
 

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