A general scene showing workers, both male and female, amid rows and rows of shells in a large warehouse at the National Filling Factory, Chilwell. Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

New BBC series revealing 1,400 stories of life on the UK Home Front starts in February 2014

Posted on centenarynews.com on 01 February 2014
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The BBC is preparing to launch a major series of programmes highlighting the impact of the First World War on people across the nations and regions of the UK as they went about their daily lives.

More than 1,000 surprising, personal and powerful stories are promised as part of the Corporation's World War One At Home project, which starts on 24th February 2014 and runs across television, radio and online.

Craig Henderson, Head of English Regions Programming at the BBC, says: "When we first piloted the project in the West Midlands and in the West of England, we were worried we might not find enough stories. We need not have been concerned. The quality so far has been incredible and we think they’ll surprise, shock, inspire and delight you." 

The scale of the series is described as "dizzying." The BBC says it'll uncover surprising stories about familiar neighbourhoods where the wounded were treated, major scientific developments happened, prisoners of war were held and where heroes are buried.

Personal stories

Personal stories of how families were torn apart will also be explored, and how they faced the challenges brought by the conflict. There will be accounts of the new and vastly important roles played by women on the Home Front, and a diverse range of voices reflecting the many soldiers who came to Britain from overseas.

Local journalism is being combined with fresh academic research to collect a total of 1,400 stories, 100 from each of eleven regions in England, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

All will be linked to specific places, and told through the eyes of the people, and their relatives, who lived through the experience of the First World War.

They will be broadcast on the BBC’s local radio stations, with coverage also on BBC regional television and national programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. After the February launch, further dates are planned in April, August and November 2014.

Digital legacy

Every story will also appear online to complement the broadcasts, creating a digital legacy for future generations. 

As the BBC's Craig Henderson puts it: "Our ambition is for World War One at Home to shine a new light on a devastating war which changed the course of world history. I hope you will come away with new insight into its impact right on your own doorstep too."

The project, part of the BBC’s World War One Centenary season, is being produced in partnership with the Imperial War Museum and academics provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

To read more about World War One at Home, click here

Source: BBC English Regions and Nations

Date of press release publication: January 2014

Images courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News