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What can memorials tell us about British Foreign Policy 1854-1914?
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Maiwand Lion, Forbury Gardens, Reading. Ref: 38938
This is the Maiwand Lion in Forbury Gardens, Reading. It was built in 1886 to commemorate the 329 men of the 66th Berkshire Regiment who died whilst fighting for their country. It is just one of many memorials to British servicemen, but what can they tell us about British Foreign Policy......?

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Worksheet: What can memorials tell us about British Foreign Policy 1854-1914?

PPT: Using Memorials - British Foreign Policy 1854-1914

Whiteboard Activity (Smart): Using Memorials - British Foreign Policy 1854-1914

Whiteboard Activity (Promethean): Using Memorials - British Foreign Policy 1854-1914

Teaching Idea

What can memorials tell us about British Foreign Policy 1854-1914?

Students can use the Search to find a selection of war memorials that were built during this period. Students could search by using the keywords war, memorial and then selecting the periods Victorian and Edwardian from the drop-down list. 
Next look through the results and create two lists; one of all the countries where British servicemen died and another of the reasons they were in those countries. The countries could then be plotted on a map to show where the British were during this period - thus revealing information about their Foreign Policy.
These reasons can then be explored further to answer questions such as:
'Why did 329 members of the 66th Berkshire Regiment give 'their lives for their country at Girisk, Maiwand and Kandahar during the Afghan campaign 1879-80?' or 'Why were sailors on HMS Centurion 'killed or died of wounds received whilst gallantly doing their duty in the Naval Brigade, North China, 1900?'
The links below and within the resources above are provided to aid students with their research.
On completing their research they should be able to answer the overall question of 'What can memorials tell us about British Foreign Policy 1854-1914' and have gained a deeper understanding of the range of roles played by the British within the Empire and how this determined Foreign Policy.

Learning Aims and Outcomes

  • Students will use historical evidence to help in their understanding of British Foreign Policy from the 1850s to the start of the First World War
  • Students will be able to demonstrate skills in searching, assessing and using relevant evidence
  • Students will gain a better understanding of British foreign policy and its impact on Britain and the Empire, including, amongst others, the Crimean, Egypt and Boer Wars
  • Relates to: Edexcel: GCE History Unit 2 C1 - The Experience of Warfare in Britain: Crimea, Boer and the First World War, 1854-1929
  • Relates to: OCR: Unit F961 - British History Period Studies - Option B: Modern 1783-1994: Foreign and Imperial Policies 1856–1914

Prior Knowledge

  • A concept of the 'British Empire' would be useful

Extended Learning and Useful Links


Copyright: English Heritage.NMR
Reference: TA
Location: N/A Date Taken: N/A
Period: Victorian (1837 - 1901)
Keywords: war, memorial, remembrance, crimea, boer, egypt, afghan, china, army, navy, military, empire
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