World War One Layman’s Guide and App released

World War One Layman's Guide


Is it possible that a 20-year-old, internationally successful Greek footballer doesn’t know what a Nazi salute looks like? Is it time to ‘just move on’ and teach young people about more recent historical events such as the advent of the Internet? Are we missing vital details in history lessons or is there simply not enough time to cover everything?

“The fact is that many of Britain’s school children have a poor general knowledge about the First and Second World War,” feels Scott Addington, author of World War One: A Layman’s Guide published as an e-book earlier this year, and the instigator of a new Great War 100 app now available of IOS and Android. “These children are the future of our nation and if they are ignorant of the mistakes that have been made by humanity in the past then who is to say that these mistakes will not be repeated?

“It is vitally important we teach our children these valuable lessons from history,” he argues. “Teachers, parents, charities, museums, writers and historians all have a role to play in ensuring the facts on both world wars are accessible, engaging and inspiring to our children”.

Amid calls for an overhaul of school history lessons and history teachers dressing up as William the Conqueror and filming lessons on YouTube in a bid to inspire the next generation of history students, is it time for a different approach?

Scott is the founder of and, as a self-certified military history buff, wrote World War One: A Layman’s Guide to be easy to understand and written in a way that will appeal to secondary school children.

Covering the vital details that led to the start of the World War One and the key events during the conflict, the e-book is priced at less than the average weekend newspaper, and is designed to support history teachers and parents who want their children to learn the facts about the Great War.

Contrary to popular belief, teenagers are reading more than ever before. Literacy rates for young adults are now higher than at any other time, according to the British Council. It is now at 98 to 100 per cent in nearly all European countries and rapidly increasing in the developing world.

“It seems incongruous that there should be so much concern that teenagers are not reading as much as they used to,” the Council notes. “And yet, it’s still a major issue in education throughout the developed world. But the concern isn’t really about whether teens can read or not, but more about what they are reading and how much.”

World War One: A Layman’s Guide (which is also available as a limited edition paperback) aims to be engaging and avoids the stuffiness associated with heavy historical textbooks, in an effort to increase its appeal for students who are required to study history in British schools between the ages of 11 and 14.

World War One: A Layman’s Guide is more like a conversation with friends than a heavy historical text,” says Addington. “It has been written in an engaging way that works through major pieces of history, such as the Battle of the Somme, in 900 words rather than 900 pages.”

As the centenary of World War One approaches next year, and with teachers being encouraged to find innovative ways to inspire children to learn British history, as an author of numerous history books Addington, has also created an App to complement the book, giving anyone interesting in learning more about The Great War an infographic layman’s guide to the Great War.

The Great War 100 app for IOS and Android offers a sneak preview of many of the infographics that make up the book. For those who have no desire to read, or would like a touch of modern technology to complement the learning process, the App is a fabulous additional tool for the history teacher trying to inspire a generation focused on their smartphones.

Charley's War Omnibus Cover

If you want a great introduction to the horrors of war, look no further than Charley’s War…

Addington was inspired to write this book after many conversations with strangers while out and about. “Because of my background in researching people’s military ancestors I spend a lot of my time just talking history with many different people ranging from sons/daughters of coalminers to knights of the realm.

“What has become apparent over the years is that despite the plethora of literature that has been produced on World War One there seems to be a huge number of people that, for one reason or another, still have little or no knowledge of even the main points. Often, the conversation goes something like this:

“It seems to me that a lot of people think that the majority of World War One books are not written for them,” feels Addington. “There seems to be a perception that they are written by academics, for academics (this isn’t true, but often, perception is reality). So this got me thinking that perhaps there is space in the market for a history book that is written by a ‘Layman’ for a ‘Layman that has been put together to fit in around our busy modern schedule.“

Perhaps teachers should also be putting Charley’s War in front of their students…

World War One: A Layman’s Guide was published in January 2013 and is available as an e-book for just £1.53 (priced incredibly low to attract younger people on a budget and make it as accessible as possible).

Buy the World War One: A Layman’s Guide Kindle edition from

Buy the Kindle edition of World War One: A Layman’s Guide from

Download The Great War 100 App of iPhone, iPad etc

Download The Great War 100 App for Android

• If you’d like to put your knowledge of the Great War to the test, here are a handful of online quizzes for you have a go at:

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