Voices Of The First World War

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0101First Impressions20141027

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 1 - First impressions

The war gets underway, with speakers' recollections of the day war broke out, their journey to France, and their first experiences of the Front. Dan Snow also explores some of the issues around oral history as evidence.

0102Battle And Retreat20141028

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 2 - Battle and Retreat

In the second programme of the series, we hear from those who experienced the Battle of Mons, which was the first realisation for many British soldiers of what they were up against.

0103Outnumbered And Outgunned20141029

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 3 - Outnumbered and Outgunned

Dan Snow looks at the Great Retreat, when all armies marched long distances with little food or sleep in scorching heat. Those who took part in the almost 200 mile journey across Belgium and France recall what it was like.

0104At Sea20141030

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 4 - At Sea

Dan Snow hears the extraordinary experiences of those who took part in and witnessed the battles of the British and German navies during the first few months of the war.

0105By Night2014103120160719 (R4)

Soldiers' experiences at night on the battlefields of the First World War.

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 5 - By Night

Dan Snow looks at soldiers' experiences at night on the battlefields of the Western Front during the early stages war, when they had to be more alert than during the day.

0106Morale2014110320160720 (R4)

Dan Snow looks at the morale of men serving in the First World War in 1914.

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 6 - Morale

Dan Snow looks at the morale of men serving in the First World War in 1914, from the relationship between officers and their troops, to their activities during rest periods, and steeling themselves for combat.

0107Ypres20141104

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 7 - Ypres

A picture of the intense fighting around the medieval town of Ypres in October and November 1914 built from the recollections of soldiers in archive drawn from the Imperial War Museum and the BBC.

0108The Trenches 191420141105

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 8 - The Trenches 1914

Dan examines the experiences of men in the trenches during the first few months of the war, when the trenches weren't as elaborate as in later years. In archive drawn from the oral history collection of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, speakers describe the dangers of looking out over the top, the problems of lice, and bring home the reality of living in clay below the water table for days at a time.

0109Prisoners Of War2014110620160721 (R4)

Dan Snow hears soldiers' recollections of becoming prisoners of war in 1914.

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines as soldiers, pilots or navy members of all ranks, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. This series will broadcast many of these recordings for the first time. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 9 - Prisoners of War

Using the voices of soldiers who were among the first to be taken prisoner, Dan Snow explores the conditions they endured in German camps during the early stages of the war.

0110 LASTThe Christmas Truce2014110720141225 (R4)

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war have been brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates 'Voices of the First World War', a new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

The Christmas Truce

In a special programme for Christmas Day, Dan Snow looks at the few hours of impromptu ceasefire that took place between 24th and 25th December 1914. According to veterans' recollections, in several places along the Western Front German and British troops mingled in No Man's Land and some even played football. Drawing on the recordings of soldiers' memories in the archive collections of the Imperial War Museum and the BBC, Dan examines what actually happened and the myths that built up around the truce.

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.

Dan Snow narrates this new oral history, which will be broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Programme 10 - The Christmas Truce

In the last of the series for 1914, veterans of the First World War recall the few hours of impromptu ceasefire on 25th December 1914, when German and British troops mingled and played football in No Man's Land on the Western Front. Drawing on the recollections of soldiers in the oral history collection of the Imperial War Museum and the BBC archive. Narrated by Dan Snow.

01OMNIOmnibus 120150508

Dan Snow presents the story of World War I through the voices of those who were there.

0201Neuve Chapelle20150622

There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.

Presented by Dan Snow, the first five programmes to be broadcast this year look at the events of 1915, including veterans' memories of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the first use of Chlorine Gas at Ypres, the experiences of a new draft of Territorials at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, and the expansion of the war to the Eastern Front: those who were involved in the Gallipoli campaign recall the landings from April 1915 onwards and then the terrible conditions for soldiers on the peninsular until their evacuation in January 1916.

The first programme looks at the differing experiences of soldiers on the Western Front in 1915, from those who were in such a quiet sector they could almost forget they were at war, to those who were already becoming hardened to the brutality of war, including the recollections of veterans who took part in one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.

0202Gas20150623

Drawing on the vivid recollections of veterans of the First World War in the sound archives of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, Dan Snow looks at the first German chlorine gas attacks of the war. During the 2nd Battle of Ypres in April and May 1915, poison gas was released on unsuspecting troops, and had a more powerful effect than even the German were expecting. From those who had to run away and those who managed to stay put in the trenches and keep firing, we hear what it was like to be there, and experience this new weapon.

0203Reinforcements20150624

By 1915 the intensity of the war was increasing. After the first gas attacks at Ypres, a new unit of Territorials was thrown in to the battle without full training or reconnaissance, within days of their arrival in France, with horrific results. Dan Snow presents the stories of survivors Jack Dorgan and George Harbottle, drawing on the sound archives of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC.

0204Gallipoli - Landings20150625

Drawing on sound archive from the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, Dan Snow looks at the experiences of veterans of the First World War who took part in the landings at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles in April 1915. As the first assaults were made, soldiers landed in chaotic conditions, under heavy fire, and those who survived then faced extraordinarily difficult terrain to cross, and there were reports of the sea turning red.

0205Gallipoli - Conditions And Evacuation20150626

Dan Snow hears soldiers experiences of the First World War as it was fought on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 - from enduring the constant threat of shell and sniper fire, the intense heat and lack of drinking water, to terrible sanitation which was as life-threatening as the battles themselves, and the troops' eventual evacuation in the winter. Drawing on the vivid and moving recollections of veterans in the sound archives of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC.

0206Home2015110220160722 (R4)

The recollections of soldiers who returned home for a brief period of leave in 1915.

Before the last survivors of the First World War passed away, the memories of many of those who fought it were captured in sound recordings. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. The Imperial War Museum's holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource, that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period, tracking the course of the war.

Presented by Dan Snow, this second series of programmes to be broadcast this year looks at the events of 1915, including veterans' memories of their first trips home on leave, the rise of U-Boat attacks, the disastrous Battle of Loos, and the experiences of those fighting on the Eastern Front as the war expanded, in Salonika and Mesopotamia.

The first programme looks at the experiences of soldiers who travelled home from the Western Front on leave for an all-too-brief few days in 1915. They returned to baths and clean bed linen, loved ones unable to comprehend their experiences on the battlefield, and communities longing for news of their sons. For Kitty Eckersley, whose young husband returned home for a few days in early 1915, this would be the last time she saw him.

0207U-boats20151103

Before the last survivors of the First World War passed away, the memories of many of those who fought it were captured in sound recordings. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. The Imperial War Museum's holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource, that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period, tracking the course of the war.

Presented by Dan Snow, the second five programmes to be broadcast this year look at the events of 1915, including veterans' memories of their first trips home on leave, the rise of U-Boat attacks, the disastrous Battle of Loos, and the experiences of those fighting on the Eastern Front as the war expanded, in Salonika and Mesopotamia.

In the second programme we hear the recollections of two German Officers who served on U-Boats, one of whom, Martin Niemoller, had become a Lutheran Pastor and leading voice in warning against the dangers of political apathy by the time of his contribution to the BBC Great War Series in 1964. And Alice Drury, a survivor of the Lusitania, vividly recalls its sinking by German torpedo in May 1915.

0208Battle Of Loos20151104

Before the last survivors of the First World War passed away, the memories of many of those who fought it were captured in sound recordings. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. The Imperial War Museum's holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource, that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period, tracking the course of the war.

Presented by Dan Snow, the second five programmes to be broadcast this year look at the events of 1915, including veterans' memories of their first trips home on leave, the rise of U-Boat attacks, the disastrous Battle of Loos, and the experiences of those fighting on the Eastern Front as the war expanded, in Salonika and Mesopotamia.

The third programme features first-hand accounts from those who fought at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, from an officer who provided the wind forecasts before the release of chlorine gas by the British, to those who helped burial parties clear the battlefields afterwards, collecting and identifying the dead by night, work which had to continue for several months.

0209Salonika20151105

Before the last survivors of the First World War passed away, the memories of many of those who fought it were captured in sound recordings. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. The Imperial War Museum's holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource, that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period, tracking the course of the war.

Presented by Dan Snow, the second five programmes to be broadcast this year look at the events of 1915, including veterans' memories of their first trips home on leave, the rise of U-Boat attacks, the disastrous Battle of Loos, and the experiences of those fighting on the Eastern Front as the war expanded, in Salonika and Mesopotamia.

In this fourth programme of the series, Dan Snow brings together recollections by soldiers of the conditions they endured in Salonika, where they considered themselves a forgotten army, and the main threats were malaria and dysentery.

0210Kut: Sand, Mud, Mirage2015110620160723 (R4)

WWI veterans describe siege conditions, starvation and surrender in Kut-Al-Amara.

Before the last survivors of the First World War passed away, the memories of many of those who fought it were captured in sound recordings. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. The Imperial War Museum's holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource, that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period, tracking the course of the war.

Presented by Dan Snow, the second five programmes to be broadcast this year look at the events of 1915, including veterans' memories of their first trips home on leave, the rise of U-Boat attacks, the disastrous Battle of Loos, and the experiences of those fighting on the Eastern Front as the war expanded, in Salonika and Mesopotamia.

In the final programme of the 1915 series, Dan Snow hears the recollections of those who were present during the siege of Kut-Al-Amara, situated on a loop of the River Tigris between Baghdad and Basra, where British troops became trapped by Turkish Ottoman forces for five months from late 1915. Speakers recount their experiences of desert marches, starvation, and eventual surrender in one of the most humiliating defeats for the British Army in its history.

02OMNIOmnibus 1915 Part Two20151106

Dan Snow presents the story of World War I through the voices of those who were there.

0301Verdun20160627

Before the last survivors of the First World War passed away, the memories of many of those who fought it were captured in sound recordings. Speakers recall in great detail the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, and their psychological state in the face of trauma. The Imperial War Museum's holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period, tracking the course of the war.

The first five programmes of this year's series of Voices of the First World War explore the events of 1916 from the point of view of those who experienced them, from descriptions of the huge and costly battles that engulfed all Armies on the Western Front to the fall-out of the introduction of conscription in Britain, with Conscientious Objectors revealing the consequences of their decision not to fight.

Dan Snow begins the week hearing the experiences of French soldiers who fought at the Battle of Verdun. In interviews recorded in 1964 for the BBC Great War series, they recall the hellish conditions for those who took part in the drawn-out battle.

In the second programme we hear vivid recollections from those who were caught up in and narrowly survived the dramatic and fast-paced Battle of Jutland, which took place across the course of a few hours and determined the outcome of the war at sea.

The third programme features first-hand accounts from those who were called up to replenish the British Army but refused to fight - Conscientious Objectors, who talk about their imprisonment, and also the ostracism their families were exposed to as a result of their decision.

The last two programmes of the week cover the Battle of the Somme. On 30th June we hear about the build up to the battle exactly 100 years ago, with descriptions of the seven day bombardment of the German lines, and the men's optimism and even excitement as the noise built to a crescendo. They remember what they were doing and how they were feeling from sunrise to zero hour on 1st July as they waited to go over the top. The final programme focuses on the first catastrophic ten minutes of the Battle of the Somme, with glimpses of the devastation on the battlefield, and the surviving soldiers' feelings about the heavy losses by the end of the day on 1st July.

0302Jutland20160628

The first five programmes of Voices of the First World War 1916 explore the events of the year from the point of view of those who experienced them, from descriptions of the huge and costly battles that engulfed the British and French Armies on the Western Front to interviews given by Conscientious Objectors and their families.

In this, the second programme we hear vivid recollections from those who were caught up in and narrowly survived the dramatic and fast-paced Battle of Jutland, which took place across the course of a few hours.

Before the last survivors of the First World War passed away, the memories of some of those who fought it were captured in sound recordings. Speakers recall in great detail the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, and their psychological state in the face of trauma. The Imperial War Museum's holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period, tracking the course of the war.

0303Conscientious Objectors20160629

By mid-1916 conscription had been introduced to replenish the forces of the British Army, which was now engaged in huge and costly battles on the Western Front. Dan Snow hears first-hand accounts from those who were called up, but refused to fight. Conscientious Objectors talk about their trials, imprisonment, the ostracism their families were exposed to, and even lasting divisions within families, as a result of their decision.

0304The Somme: From Sunrise To Zero Hour20160630

The last two programmes of the week cover the Battle of the Somme. On 30th June we hear about the build up to the battle exactly 100 years ago, with descriptions of the seven day bombardment of the German lines, and the men's optimism and even excitement as the noise built to a crescendo. They recall what they were doing and how they were feeling from sunrise to zero hour on 1st July, as they waited to go over the top.

Drawing on the sound archives of the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, survivors of the First World War recall their experiences of the events of 1916. With Dan Snow.

0305The Somme: Over The Top20160701

The final programme in this instalment of Voices of the First World War focuses on the first catastrophic ten minutes of the Battle of the Somme, with men recalling the orders they were given, the reality on the ground as it became clear the German wire hadn't been cut by the British bombardment and their memory of those around them being mown down by machine gun fire as they attempted to cross No Man's Land. Dan Snow brings together first hand accounts drawn from the sound archives of the IWM and the BBC, some vivid and detailed and others clearly clouded by the trauma of their experience and the intervening years, to reveal the devastation on the battlefield, and surviving soldiers' feelings about the heavy losses suffered by the British by the end of the day on 1st July.

0306Sheffield And The Somme20161114

The return of the archive series tracking the development of the First World War through the recollections of those who were there.

Sheffield and the Somme: Dan Snow looks at the impact of the Battle of the Somme on the Pals battalion raised in Sheffield, and on the city itself, through the recollections of a surviving soldier in the Sheffield City Battalion and two people who were schoolchildren at the time. They recall the lists of dead in the newspapers, the frequent announcements in school assemblies of older brothers who had been killed, and the sight of the many returning wounded on the streets.

0307Cowardice20161115

Gertrude Farr heard about her husband Harry Farr's execution for cowardice in October 1916 by letter, and was never given any more details of the circumstances surrounding his death, apart from by the vicar who had attended his shooting, who revealed that Harry had refused to be blindfolded. Gertrude and her daughter reveal the effect Harry's execution had on their lives and the stigma that was attached to such a death, while two former soldiers talk about why they think such punishments were necessary. Narrated by Dan Snow.

0308Tanks20161116

The very first appearance of tanks during the war was at an attack on the German held village of Flers in September 1916. It was not as successful as hoped, but British soldiers who witnessed their approach, and those who drove them into the village (before they broke down), describe how they could see their potential in future. Drawing on interviews in the sound archives of the IWM and the BBC, and narrated by Dan Snow.

0309At Rest20161117

Dan Snow looks at what troops got up to off the battlefield, when they were out of the front line in France. British soldiers spent the majority of the war behind the lines with brief, often appalling, spells in the trenches. Football matches, construction projects, training, drinking, theatres, religious observation and sex took up more time than the fighting, and crucially kept morale up. Drawing on interviews in the sound archives of the BBC and the IWM.

0310 LASTAfter Kut20161118

Men recall their 'death march' to Baghdad and northwards after surrender to the Ottoman Army at the end of the siege of Kut-Al-Amara in April 1916, when, already weakened by dysentery and starvation after five months trapped inside Kut, they had to march hundreds of miles in searing heat, without water, to Prisoner of War camps. Drawing on the sound archives of the IWM and the BBC, and on a journal written by an Indian soldier and hidden in his boots, Dan Snow explores the varying treatment of the men according to rank, race and religion, as they travelled through villages and even lived in villas that had belonged to Armenians, but were now deserted.

03OMNIOmnibus 1916 Series 220161118

Dan Snow tracks the development of the First World War through the recollections of those who were there.

Drawing on the sound archives of the IWM and the BBC, in this omnibus edition of five programmes looking at the course of the war in 1916, interviewees recall the impact of the Battle of the Somme on Sheffield, through the recollections of a soldier who fought with the Sheffield City Battalion and two people who were schoolchildren at the time. They recall the lists of dead in the newspapers, the frequent announcements in school assemblies of older brothers who had been killed, and the sight of the many returning wounded on the streets. Gertrude Farr's husband Harry, injured at the Battle of the Somme, refused to carry on fighting. In the second programme Gertrude and her daughter reveal the effect the execution of her husband for cowardice in 1916 had on her life. In the third programme, men recall the first appearance of tanks during the war, at Flers as the Battle of the Somme carried on. Dan also looks at what troops got up to off the battlefield, when they were out of the front line in France. British soldiers spent the majority of the war behind the lines with brief, often appalling, spells in the trenches. Football matches, construction projects, training, drinking, theatres, religious observation and sex took up more time than the fighting. Finally, in 'Prisoners of War of Kut-al-Amara', men recall the 'death march' from Kut to Baghdad and northwards, and their experience of years of captivity after the end of the siege of Kut in April 1916, and we hear how differently officers were treated in contrast to lower ranks.