Pretoria / Tshwane during the Great War 1914-1918

Stefan Manz, Anne Samson

Research output: Other contributionTeaching Resource


This resource is best used with the South Africa World War 1 Education Learning Resource [SAWW1]. SAWW1 provides the national context for South Africa’s involvement in the First World War, while this resource considers the role that
Pretoria and its inhabitants played in the same conflict. The national context for the section on Internment in Pretoria can be found in the Interned Education Pack, both available online at

All the learning resources build on the Grade 8 CAPS requirements for the topic World War 1 (1914-1918). A quick glance at the requirements shows that their main focus is on Britain. We have broadened the coverage to be more South
Africa specific. Although it is designed for use by learners in Grade 8, it can be easily adapted for older or younger learners/students.

The teaching materials explore a range of themes, including equality and diversity. Historically, different population groups and aspects (theatres) of war have been ignored in the South African World War 1 narrative. This resource aims to show the breadth and diversity of Tshwane’s involvement. In addition, some sources have been selected to stimulate and develop critical thinking skills, there being no right or wrong answer.

Through the activities young people will gain an insight into aspects of the First World War at global (empire), national (South Africa) and local (Tshwane Metropole) levels which continue to have relevance to the modern world. Although often regarded as an imperial war, something unconnected with Africa, the First World War of 1914—1918 was to have a major impact on the young Union of South Africa, including Tshwane, culturally, economically, and politically.

Themes touched on in this Learning Resource may prove distressing for some learners as they deal with discrimination, conflict and death.
The aim is to give learners an insight into people’s responses to a particularly challenging historical situation.

Comparative material from the media today can be included at the teacher’s discretion to encourage learners to explore how the media react to perceived threats today. A list of further reading and links to support the project can be found on the inside back cover.

The resource is centred around two short films which can be watched with headsets in Virtual Reality, or on screen in 2D. They are available at Pages 2 to 9 & 16 to 17 relate to the first film, pages 10 to 17 to the second film (‘Interned’). The yellow boxes summarise the spoken text in the film, the purple boxes give local information about Pretoria / Tshwane, and the blue boxes contain activities for learners.
Original languageEnglish
TypeEducation Resource
Media of outputBooklet
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2024

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  • Pretoria Tshwane Great War Education Resource


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