Segments in this Video

Unsung War Heroes (01:57)


In this film, Dan Snow will interview historians and family members about ordinary men and women of World War I, including a reporter criticizing the war, young boys joining the service, and a deserter.

First British Great War Casualty (04:47)

Tensions grew between Germany and Britain in 1914. English teacher Henry Hadley fled Berlin for France on August 3 with his housekeeper Elizabeth Pratley. He argued with German officers on the train, was shot, and died in a Gelsenkirchen hospital on August 5.

Great War Journalist (04:57)

In August 1914, the British government passed a press censorship law. Lord Kichener banned reporters from the front line but the "Daily Mail" sent Basil Clark to France. He used contacts to relay stories; British soldiers helped him evade deportation. Parliament later allowed reporters in combat.

Great War Arms Race (04:40)

The British Army transports equipment home from Afghanistan. In 1915, ammunition shortages threatened to defeat the Allies. David Lloyd George mobilized Britain to produce shells, recruiting women to assemble them and transporting them via ship, rail and mule.

Footballer's Battalion (04:32)

Early recruitment campaigns appealed to British patriotism; men were encouraged to sign up with friends and colleagues. London soccer club Clapton Orient joined en masse in 1915, inspiring other sports teams. Hear accounts from the Battle of the Somme.

Child Soldiers (02:51)

Cadets train on the "TS Royalist." In 1916, Andy Kershaw's teenaged grandfather served on the battleship King George V in the Battle of Jutland. By 1918, 250,000 boys had been recruited by the British military; officers turned a blind eye to their age.

Youngest British Soldier (01:45)

Sidney Lewis, age 12, joined the British Army in 1915; his son Colin tells Kershaw his story. He fought in the Somme and was exposed in the media to shame older men into joining. His mother had to show his birth certificate to get him discharged.

Wartime Postal Service (04:52)

Katie Fragley prepares a Christmas package for her husband; the BFPO sends over 100,000 presents and cards weekly. During World War I, women kept the system running to deliver billions of letters and parcels; view a Christmas card from the trenches.

An Unusual Wartime Correspondence (05:04)

Ruth Goodman discusses the pen pal friendship between Bombadier Edward Hassall and 6 year old Joan Burbidge that started during the Somme in 1916. She introduces their extended family members at the Imperial War Museum.

Court-Martial Case (04:53)

In 1916, Private Harry Farr was a soldier of good character, but suffered shell shock and was executed. Historian Julian Putkowski says the military justice system discriminated against working class men. His granddaughter Janet Booth successfully campaigned to clear his name.

"Battle of the Somme" Film (04:36)

Larry Lamb organizes a screening of the documentary for descendants of soldiers. Lance Corporal Walter Lydamore's son and great-grandsons attend. Two official cameramen were embedded; their footage was edited for propaganda but provides insight into trench warfare.

Million Pound Tank (05:11)

Threatened by bankruptcy, the British government began selling war bonds to citizens, using a tank displayed on Trafalgar Square for publicity. Historian David Willey discusses the innovation's popularity; the campaign raised 10% of the war’s cost and took 100 years to repay.

Credits: Great War Stories (00:36)

Credits: Great War Stories

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Great War Stories

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



As the shadow of the First World War stretched across the globe, millions of ordinary people were caught in its wake. Many of their stories have never been told. This film collects together just a few of these untold stories: the surprising revelation of the first civilian killed in the war; the extraordinary transformation of Britain into a military industrial complex and the devastating effect on the women enlisted to work in its factories; and the poignant story of a bundle of letters from a frontline soldier to a little girl back home. This moving film shows how the unfolding conflict of the First World War affected ordinary people caught up on the front line and on the home front.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL124900

ISBN: 978-1-63521-806-0

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.