A GROUP of students from a school in Christchurch took part in a Question Time-style debate on WW1.

BBC Newsnight’s Mark Urban chaired the debate, which was hosted by Hayesfield School in Bath.

Pupils from Highcliffe School joined over 100 young people from across the South West at the debate organised by the Department for Education.

A panel of renowned historians and WW1 experts helped lead the discussion, including public engagement officer Catherine Long, conflict archaeologist Dr Matt Leonard, Dr Toby Thacker, a senior lecturer in modern European history, and historian and senior research fellow Dr Emma Hanna.

The debate – the fifth in a series of six being held across the UK – focussed on the changing reputation of WW1 and its lasting legacy as a vehicle for social change.

With studies showing an increasing detachment between young people and the World Wars, the series has been created to increase young people’s engagement with WW1 as a subject.

The debate sessions are free to all state schools and have already seen hundreds of young people from across the country involved.

Students at the event learned about propaganda, the social impact of the war, how we remember the fallen and about groups that have sometimes been forgotten in commemorations.

Charlie Silverwood, a student from Year 12 at Highcliffe School, said: “I found the debate really interesting. Not only did the panelists answer the questions I had, they also challenged some of the views I previously had about WW1.”

He added: “It was great to see genuine pieces of military equipment and to hear how the war impacted on people abroad as well as at home.”