# "Hurrah! For The Life Of A Soldier"

## KS2 Maths

The new National Curriculum requires that children '...know the rough metric equivalents of imperial units still in daily use' (4a). Victorian military history is, of course, simply bursting with Imperial weights and measures. Here, as an example, are the army ration scales for 1878. Converting these into metric equivalents would be a challenging task for pupils, it also offers work with fractions (3d-g) and the basis for interesting problems (4). For example: you are a quartermaster; what do you need to supply a company of 100 men during wartime for a week? These problems can also raise issues for further investigation and discussion.

### Daily peacetime ration

• Meat - ¾lb pound per man
• Bread - 1lb per man
• Coal - 37lb per twelve men
• oil - two & three sixteenths of a gill per eighteen men (for lamps, I think)
• vegetables and groceries - whatever the men choose to buy.

### Daily wartime ration

• Fresh meat, if available, salted if not - 16oz per man
• Bread - 1½lb per man (or one pound of biscuit if no bread)
• Rice - 2oz per man
• Sugar - 2oz per man
• Coffee - 1oz or ¼oz of tea per man
• Salt - ½oz per man
• Spirits - 1 gill per man
• Fresh vegetables - when available, or preserved potatoes and compressed vegetables.

### Daily ration in India

• Meat - 1lb per man
• Bread - 1lb per man
• Rice - 4oz per man
• Sugar - 2½oz per man
• Tea/coffee - five sevenths of an ounce per man
• Salt - two thirds of an ounce per man
• Vegetables - 1lb per man
• Firewood - 3lb per man.

### Other suggestions for numerical problems are:

• How long will it take to send a 24 word message 300 miles using 10" heliographs (assuming the sun is shining and the heliograph stations are located at the extent of their range - see the science section for explanations)?
• During the Crimean War 20 000 British troops died. Only 3 400 were killed in battle. What percetage is this of the total dead?
• During the South African War, the Army Remount Department provided 520 000 horses and 150 000 mules. 350 000 horses and 50 000 mules died in action, from disease and ill-use. What are these losses expressed as proportions/percentages/fractions of the totals?