From St Neots to Siberia: lesson plans and supporting resources

What links St Neots to Russia between 1918 and 1921?

History teachers at Longsands Academy became intrigued by the locally recruited soldiers of the Bedfordshire regiment who had not perished on the Western Front. Some of those commemorated were buried not in France or Belgium but in the remote and icebound port of Archangel in the Russian Arctic. Their graves were a legacy of the long neglected Allied intervention in support of White forces against the Bolshevik Reds during the complex civil war which convulsed Russia after the 1917 revolutions (British forces were also active in the Baltic, the Caucasus and Siberia).

But what led presumably war-weary local men to volunteer for further military service beyond the armistice of November 1918 in a remote foreign conflict which ultimately cost 9 million lives? And why 100 years on was the service of these men largely forgotten while the current Russian government lavishes money building brand-new memorials to their 1914-1917 war dead?

HLF funding paid for Andrew Wrenn to research and compile a timeline of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War which informed lesson planning. 

How were the lessons structured?

Individual teachers from the history department at Longsands prepared the lesson plans and supporting PowerPoints and resources for use with all Year 9 pupils which were edited collaboratively with Andrew Wrenn. To read a summary and rationale of each lesson plan see the resource below.

Longsands Academy would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for its generous funding of this project, the Churchill Archive, Churchill College, University of Cambridge for permission to reproduce copyright material from their collections, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for permission to display photographs and documents from their excellent website, the Historical Association for hosting online resources and the Bedford branch of the Royal British Legion for hosting the exhibition.


All resources are in PDF format and will open in a new browser tab.

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