World War 1: Changing Faces of Heroism

What does Heroism mean to me

This week I began a short course with the University of Leeds regarding Heroism during World War One.
In my own way, I am hoping this course will help with furthering my understanding of the Great War, it may help with family research especially regarding the heroes in our family and it may also give me a new direction to consider whilst writing my book. (A short biography on the life of my great grand uncle; John George Woods.)

So far this course has given reflection on the following:

What does heroism mean to you?
Military heroism
Classical heroism
Analysing British recruitment posters
Recruitment posters: Your initial impressions
Curate your own exhibition of war paintings
and a series of Q&A’s

Whilst working through this, we have been asked to keep a learning log, this I have showcased on;

Has anybody used this site before?

If you haven’t it’s worth a visit, this site is easily applied to family research and a very clever way to showcase family photos and records.

Here is my learning log so far;

Created with Padlet

William Allison

The following Newspaper article is about Private William Allison, he was a comrade in the 1st/6th battalion Durham Light Infantry and fought beside my great grand uncle on the 26th April 1915. This soldier was a hero in his own right and one of the bravest men I have ever read about.
He sacrificed his own life by using himself as a human shield to allow his comrades to reach safety. William Allison was shot in the heart and died instantly.

Source: Fatal Unselfish Act. Evening Telegraph - Dundee, Angus, Scotland - 3 June 1915, Page 5

Fatal Unselfish Act.
Evening Telegraph – Dundee, Angus, Scotland – 3 June 1915, Page 5

What does Heroism mean to you?
I would love to hear your comments on this subject, and be able to read your own posts of heroes in your family. Please feel free to link any of your own stories/posts to the comments section.


5 thoughts on “World War 1: Changing Faces of Heroism

    • Good luck with the course, I found it very interesting and I have learnt a lot. I still need to finish a couple of things too.
      It certainly gets us thinking with a different perspective.

  1. I am not sure how I would define a hero. Military heroes are different from political or personal heroes. A military hero puts his or her own safety after the safety of their fellow soldiers and does what is necessary to accomplish the military mission. But a political or personal hero is someone who is true to their values, has integrity and loyalty, and stands up for what they believe in. They also put the best interests of the society or family before their personal best interests.

    I have lots of heroes—though not many military heroes—in my family. For military heroes,I’ve blogged about two: Simon LB Cohen in WW 1 at
    and Morton Seligman in both WW I and II at

    • Thank you Amy, I love what you just posted and your right that the definition of a hero is very different depending on the role they play.
      Thank you for these links, I have read these posts before, and I’m going to read them through again later. It will all help me build a bigger picture of the idea of heroism and I may be able to apply some of this information in my final course presentation.
      Hope all well and many Thanx 🙂

      • Yes, Morton Seligman is a particularly interesting example since his career ended under a shadow.
        Thanks for reading as always!

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