Maritime activity 3: eyewitness to the Benvenue shipwreck
The class investigate the Benvenue shipwreck off Sandgate in 1891.
They gather as much evidence as they can about the vessel, its voyage, the terrible storm, the shipwreck, and the many heroic rescue attempts by coastguard rocket apparatus and lifeboat.
Then they write a first-hand account or Victorian newspaper report about this dramatic rescue.
Increased knowledge and understanding of the history of shipwrecks, lifeboats and the work of the coastguard.
Research skills through internet research.
KS1-2 History (Local History Study).
KS1-2 English (creative writing, write a newspaper report)
Pupils research and discuss the different types of historic evidence, including artefacts from the wreck, eyewitness accounts, photographs and newspaper reports.
- Which are primary and which are secondary sources?
- Which are most reliable as evidence?
They read out some of the newspaper reports.
They think about the different viewpoints of those involved in the shipwreck, including a member of the ship’s crew, a coastguard operating the rocket apparatus, a lifeboatman, the wife or child of a lifeboatman, or an eyewitness on the beach. How do you think they felt as each successive rescue failed?
Pupils imagine they are a member of the ship’s crew, a coastguard operating the rocket apparatus, a lifeboatman, the wife or child of a lifeboatman, or an eyewitness on the beach.
They write an eyewitness report or piece of creative writing describing their experience.
Or imagine they are a reporter or artist working for the Illustrated London News or The Graphic despatched to Folkestone by train to write a front-page article on the rescue. How can they make the text and image as exciting as possible for their readers?
Learn with Objects links
There’s a wealth of evidence about the Benvenue shipwreck at Learn with Objects Maritime 3, 7, 8 and Seaside holidays 10.