1901 – 1918/9 “In England, you better stay where you belong or they’ll soon put you there.
If you are a servant you’re a servant” Mary Davis, Titanic survivor.
Arthur is the highly capable captain of the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia. It is April 1912, and he has just returned to New York Harbour having heroically used his ship to rescue survivors of the RMS Titanic disaster.
Mary was a second class passenger on the RMS Titanic. A survivor of Lifeboat 13, she tells the story of that fateful night Titanic was hit by an iceberg and what followed afterwards.
Tom has worked for the Romsey Remount Service, in Hampshire since World War One began. He is very knowledgeable about how horses are traded, cared for, trained, and transported to France as part of the war effort. He is keen to explain how the war began, and how he became involved in the Remount Service.
Tricia is a 1917 housewife with tales of the times. Choose from The Romsey War Horse Camp, Mrs Agnus Morrison’s the inventor of Flag Pin Fund Raising; or My Thomas is over there; please remember him! With a combination of tales of the time, a kit bag to help pack, a war gift from a Princess, object handling and recording and making workshops KS1 and 2 children learn about aspects of WWI that can be built on later when they look in detail at the realities of trench warfare in KS3 and beyond.
Topics we cover for this period are:
- The Sinking of the RMS Titanic.
- Rescuing the survivors of the Titanic – Captain Arthur Rostron.
- A tale of a Titanic survivor – Mary Davis.
- World War I: the remount camp at Romsey – Thomas Hooton.
- World War I: the remount camp at Romsey – Tricia Warner
- World War I: fund raising and morale; Mrs Agnus and a Princess – Tricia Warner
- World War I: Life at home waiting for news – My Thomas – Tricia Warner
The Edwardian period starts with the death of Queen Victoria, however there is a lack of consensus on when it ends. There are four events that are often used to mark the end of the period: the sinking of the Titanic (1912), the beginning of The Great War (1914), the end of hostilities (1918), or the signing of the Versailles Treaty (1919).
“In England, you better stay where you belong or they’ll soon put you there.
If you are a servant you’re a servant”
Mary Davis, Titanic survivor.
Mary’s explanation of why she preferred to stay in the U.S.A. neatly sums up Edwardian England. Everyone was born to a place in society and should stay there – this was particularly important to enable the wealthy to follow leisurely, rather than economic, pursuits. Edwardian ‘peace and plenty’ combined with the focus on leisure, lead to international disadvantage. Britain, with its empire, remained strong in finance, shipping and trade. But by the end of Edwardian period Britain had fallen behind Germany and the USA as an economic world power.
While the wealthier enjoyed an increasingly leisurely lifestyle, the poor were seeking to improve themselves. However, the general consensus from the middle and upper classes was that all should know their place and stay there. The resulting tension reaching a high by 1908 with the poor starting to take a political stand.
The technological and social changes initiated in Victorian times exert greater social pressure for the Edwardians. Mechanisation on farms and within the wealthier homes reduced the number of workers needed. At the same time factories offered better wages and more independence, encouraging workers to opt-out of a being in service or labouring on a farm.
Attracted by the prospect of a new life without the constraints of the ‘know your place’ attitude, many poorer folk emigrated to the New Worlds – America and Australia. Most made it; some like many of those on the Titanic never survive the journey.