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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument dedicated to soldiers whose remains could not be identified and stands to pay tribute to these individuals and their contributions on the land, in the air, and at sea during wars or significant conflicts. The idea of constructing a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay tribute to those who lost their life during war came about in November 1916, and was passed into law in France in September 1919, shortly following the end of the First World War.
See the fact file below for more information on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Tomb of the Unknown Soldier worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
History of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- The question of what to do with the unknown soldiers who died in wartime gave way to the idea of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier shortly after the First World War.
- The reason for this was because the First World War was the first war that saw an unprecedented amount of soldiers’ deaths.
- Historians mostly agree that it was David Railton, an Anglican chaplain serving in France, who came up with the idea for a tomb for the unknown soldiers in 1916.
- His idea was passed to a man named Herbert Ryle, who was the senior priest of Westminster Abbey in London.
- From there, the tomb was eventually built at that location.
- Shortly after this, France wanted to follow suit, and so designated their tomb’s location as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in January of 1921.
- The United States shared this desire to dedicate a monumental grave to unknown soldiers, and so, following Congressional authorization, built a tomb at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on March 4th, 1921 with its opening ceremony taking place on November 11th of the same year, officiated by President Warren G. Harding.
- In the years that followed, several other countries around the world created their own unknown soldier monuments, including India, Australia, Canada, Russia, Austria, and many others.
Symbolism and Importance of the Tombs
- Some of the tombs around the world have simple designs that focus solely on the remembrance of the unknown soldier; others are more elaborate and intricate with their details.
- In many countries with monuments and tombs, the unknown soldier is typically honored with a funeral procession, an address or speech, and the lowering of a coffin into the tomb.
- Although the remains of the soldier inside the tomb are unknown to the general population, some tombs are inscribed as “known but to God”.
- The anonymity of the unknown soldier is a strong symbol of the monument for all of the sacrifices made for war from a particular country; they act as a symbol for all of a country’s unknown dead, regardless of where they fell or where they are buried.
- It is very important to remember the sacrifices made, not only by those who were identified, but also to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice without the luxury of being identified by their home country.
Other Facts About the Tombs
- At present, there are 72 tombs dedicated to the unknown soldier.
- The name “Unknown Soldier” has been used as titles for books, short stories, films, musical albums and songs, as well as a characters in both DC and Ace Comics as a war hero and superhero character, respectively.
- It is said that if you want to become a tomb guard, it is incredibly difficult, especially in the United States. You must go through an intense period of training that includes passing tests on weapons, cadence, military bearing, ceremonial steps, uniform preparation, and much more.
- It is said that tomb guards have the highest standards for their military uniforms of all military members.
- The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies in front of the National War Memorial and contains the remains of a soldier who had been buried near Vimy Ridge in the First World War.
- In Australia, their tomb was erected in 1933 after recovering the body of their unknown soldier from Adelaide Cemetery in France.
- Egypt’s Unknown Soldier Monument pays tribute to the unknown Egyptian and Arab soldiers; the most famous one is in Cairo and is in the shape of a pyramid; it was inaugurated in October 1975.
- In the United States, the Tomb Guard badge is the least awarded badge in the Army.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Tomb of the Unknown Soldier worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which is a monument dedicated to soldiers whose remains could not be identified and stands to pay tribute to these individuals and their contributions on the land, in the air, and at sea during wars or significant conflicts. The idea of constructing a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay tribute to those who lost their life during war came about in November 1916, and was passed into law in France in September 1919, shortly following the end of the First World War.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Facts
- Mapping the Tombs
- In The News
- Soldier Wordsearch
- Remembering Their Sacrifice
- Important Military Terms
- Tribute Collage
- Fact File: Tombs Around the World
- Opinion Piece
- Soldier Crossword
- Design a Tomb Guard Badge
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Link will appear as Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 16, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.