How did everything keep moving during the First World War?

Background Information

The railways played a crucial part in the transportation of supplies and soldiers to and from the front line. The speed in which troops, munitions and equipment had to be moved to Europe was key to the war effort.

Ambulance trains were designed and built by the rail companies and were specifically for the transportation and treatment of the wounded. The railway also provided logistical support at home, keeping the usual services and managing the extra movement of people and goods for the war effort.

The aim of these resources is to help your students to explore the huge logistical task undergone to keep everything moving during the First World War. The resources offer an insight into logistically planning the movement of troops and cargo.

Teachers’ Notes

How to use these resources

  • use them as discussion points for learning about logistics during the First World War
  • encourage your students to explore and interpret the resources
  • compare the use of railways in today’s society to their use within the war

Talking points

What is happening in these images/quotes?
Chose a resource; how does it make you feel?
What were the responsibilities of the people having to plan this?
What obstacles would you need to overcome?
Does anything in these resources surprise you?
Visualise the scene the quote describes and draw it.
What do these resources not tell us?
What questions do you need to ask about these resources?
What other types of sources of information do you think you need to look at to find out the answers to these questions?