THE difficult and often traumatic decisions faced by doctors at First World War casualty clearing stations are being used to help students a century later with their history and maths.

As part of the Worcestershire World War One Hundred project, teams at Worcester's George Marshall Medical Museum and the Infirmary Museum have created a board game of probability and chance, which is being made available through 10 box sets to all schools in the city and will later be published on-line for educational establishments farther afield.

"The original thinking behind the idea was to pay tribute to the sacrifices and role of the Royal Army Medical Corps and the difficult decisions doctors had to make," said Louise Price of the George Marshall Medical Museum. "As the game was being developed, we asked pupils from Tudor Grange Academy to try it out and from their feedback the final version has developed.

"Based on the museums' collections of Lt. Col. Goddard, a medical officer during both the Boer War and the First World War, students will apply their knowledge of probability and percentages to find the best course of action for each injured soldier. Should they return to the front? Or should they go to a base hospital for further treatment? In playing the board game, students will use their skills to engage with both history and mathematics in a fun and informative way."

In 1916, 734,000 men were wounded and evacuated from casualty clearing stations by a range of means, including trains and barges. As the war progressed and treatment of regiments became more sophisticated and refined, the casualty clearing stations became more self-contained treatment centres, carrying out amputations and treatments of bullet trauma wounds. They revolutionised the surgery of World War One and made a significant contribution to the outcome of the war.

Dr Adrian Gregson of Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, added: "The two museums have taken a completely innovative approach to interpreting World War One's medical history, creating a fantastic mathematics resource. We look forward to showcasing the game and encouraging schools to get playing."

The casualty clearing station board game will be available for a free loan from the George Marshall Medical Museum and the Infirmary Museum, initially for schools across Worcestershire It will also be available soon for download by schools outside the area.

For further information about the game contact the team at the George Marshall Medical Museum and The Infirmary Museum on 01905 542373.