Themes and ideas to explore:
Contribution of the police
Attitudes of local people
Animals in the war
Christmas away from home
Suggested questions and discussion points:
The process of billeting
How did billeting work?
How much notice did people get that they would be hosting soldiers?
Reactions to billeting
How did towns react to the arrival of billeted soldiers?
Imagine how it felt to see your town full of soldiers carrying guns
Why were some billeting arrangements considered unsatisfactory?
What view of the soldiers do the documents give us?
Why were some of the less well off hosts disappointed?
Did all billeting families treat the soldiers well?
Reckless and badly behaved soldiers
What sort of bad behaviour from soldiers was recorded?
What were the range of punishments they were given?
Why do you think some of the incidents were dealt with quite leniently?
What reasons might you give for so much bad behaviour and pranks by the soldiers?
Why do you think there were so many horses in town?
What reasons were given for them stampeding?
Christmas for the troops
What was the attitude of locals to the troops in their town over Christmas?
What was organised to cater for the troops at Christmas?
Despite all these efforts to entertain the troops, how do you think it really felt to be away from home at Christmas?