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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Suggested Activities

1. Storyboard

Imagine you are going to make a short film of Jimmy's life. Use the evidence to make notes of the key events in Jimmy's life. Use your notes to draw a storyboard. Each cell on the storyboard needs to contain a simple image and relevant notes (these could be set out as a couple of bullet points).

2. Newspaper Report

Look at examples of current British newspapers; make sure you look at broadsheets and tabloids. Write two short newspaper articles including a headline about the finding of Jimmy - one account should be broadsheet style and the other tabloid style. Use your ICT skills to produce your pieces.

3. Map Work

Use a map of the British Empire and modern maps to locate the different places Jimmy travelled to in his life. Consider whether the countries formerly in the Empire are now fully independent. Do they belong to the Commonwealth? Use the internet to help you, as well as atlases and textbooks.

4. Letter Home

Imagine you are a Private in the group who found Jimmy. Write a letter home to your family. You need to set the letter out correctly, and include the following: the weather; the conditions; the battle; and, of course, finding Jimmy.

5. Jimmy's Point of View

Try to imagine you are Jimmy, and discuss how you would feel about the following issues:

  • Growing up amongst white people
  • His treatment by his colleagues
  • How he might have felt about himself as the only African man in the band
  • Marrying a white woman
  • As a child, being afraid of black women

6. Affection or Racism?

Look at the evidence - discuss the different ways in which Jimmy is treated and viewed by his colleagues. Do you think he would be treated in the same way today? Why? Why not?

7. Foundling Child

Discuss how Jimmy was found and adopted by the Regiment, and how he was brought up. Do you think this would happen in 21st Century conflicts? Why? Why not? What do you think would happen to children in Jimmy's position nowadays? Find out which bodies may look after children orphaned or abandoned by conflict.