History's HEROES?

What is a hero? section

What is a hero? section

Just How Heroic?

Do we view heroism by numbers saved? Or by impact on world events? Is acting in the line of duty really as heroic as acting on one's own initiative? This section encourages us to look at our own views and values in considering the actions, motivations and consequences of the heroes on the site. 

Who is the More Heroic?

  • Who was more heroic - Mother Theresa or Winston Churchill?
  • From our list, was it Thomas Buxton or Oliver Cromwell?

There are no right answers to these questions - each of us will think something different.

Thomas Foxwell Buxton and Oliver Cromwell lived at different times. However, they were both country gentlemen and they were both members of parliament. Thomas Buxton tried to improve the conditions for some of the poorest and most powerless people in the world. Oliver Cromwell worked to destroy tyranny in our country. Who was the more heroic?

There are other questions:

  • Is acting in the line of duty as heroic as taking independent action?
  • Does a person's actions have to be of enduring significance? 
  • Does a person's actions thay have to affect many people?

For Noor Khan and Horatio Nelson, it was their job to go into danger and risk their lives. The same is true for the men and women serving in our armed forces. Nelson's actions were vey well known; for a long time Irena Sendlerova's actions were unknown. Despite this, her actions, and those of Thomas Fowell Buxton, directly affected many lives. What if a person's actions only affect one or a small number of people? Does a person's achievements have to be well-known, or of enduring significance to qualify as heroic? Or can they be below the radar, humble, local, affecting only a few?

Maybe they simply can't be compared - but we're going to make you do just that!

Balloon Debate Activity

The heroes on the site are trapped in a sinking hot air balloon. There is only enough gas to heat the air to save one.

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