WWII: The Soviet Union Joins the Allies | Reporting the uneasy alliance made with Stalin's Russia
WRITTEN DOCUMENT 1943
PA Russia Night [Handwritten]
"IN HONOUR 0F RUSSIA" - Home and Forces, 8th November l943
On November 8th the BBC is devoting its evening programmes to Russia, as a
tribute to Russia's National Day (November 7th) and to the prodigious part the
Russian people are playing in the war against Nazi Germany.
The evening starts with "The spirit of Russia", a panorama of Russian life
described in the music of one of her greatest composers, Rimsky-Korsakov.
Linking commentary has been written by Louis McNeice, to be spoken by Mary
O'Farrell and Marius Goring. The music will be played and sung by the BBC
Symphony Orchestra and BBC Chorus, conducted by Clarence Raybould, and the
soloists include the Rusian soprano Olga Slobodskaya.
On the Forces wavelength there is "Factory Floor Show", a variety programme
given before an audience of factory workers. Artists include Lucan and McShane,
Bertha Willmott and Malcolm McEachern with Leonard Henry as Master of Ceremonies
and music by the BBC Revue Chorus and Orchestra directed by Jack Payne. As a
prologue to "Factory Floor Show" there will be a broadcast from a factory making
Hurricanes, and the epilogue comes from a factory where tanks for the Russian
front are rolling off the line.
"Russia Sings and Dances" follows on the Forces wavelength - a programme of folk
songs, dances, and light orchestral works, selected and arranged by George
Walter and Mark H. Lubbock, and played and sung by the BBC Theatre Forces
Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Stanford Robinson, with Gladys Ripley and Dennis
Noble as soloists.
In "Russia at War - I was There", people who have been in Russia during the last
two years tell of their experiences. They include Mr. Wendell Wilkie, the
Archbishop of York, Mary Lane (an English girl educated in Russia) F/Lt. Hubert
Griffith, who was with the R.A.F. Wing in Murmansk and Reginald Watson-Jones, a
member of the British Medical Mission lately in Moscow.
After the News comes a short programme of eye-witness accounts of celebrations of
her National Day in Moscow.
9.30 Home & Forces
Listeners to the Home and Forces programmes will then hear "The Red Army", a
programme depicting its birth and growth, written by Leo Condon and Robert Barr
and produced by Leonard Cottreil.
10.0 Home & Forces
The evening ends with a simultaneous broadcast, on both wavelengths of "War Songs
of the Soviet Peoples", given by the Choir of the Workers' Music Association, the
Millbank Barracks Choir and the Band of H.M.Grenadier Guards. Frank Philips will
be commentator for the programme, which is written by Francis Dillon and produced
by Walter Rilla.
"In Honour of Russia" will be opened and closed by a short prologue and epilogue
written by Cecil McGivern. Advisers for the evening's programmes are Mme. Anuta
Kallin and Gerald Abraham, an authority on Russian music. General Editor, Laurence
Gilliam. General producer, Cecil McGivern. Presentation announcer, Joseph Macleod.
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Document Type | Press Release
08 November 1943
This document provides a guide to the schedule of programming planned for 'In Honour of Russia'. The items listed reflect the careful balance that had to be achieved between celebrating Russia's role in the war while not seeming to glorify the communist regime.
Read more on this subject
Listen to the surviving extracts from 'In Honour of Russia: Russia at War - Mary Lane' and '
In Honour of Russia: Russia at War - Reginald Watson-Jones'.
Did you know: Part of this night's broadcasting still exists in the archives and has been released in this collection. The contributions of Mary Lane, who talks about growing up in Moscow, and Reginald Watson Jones who describes the aftermath of the battles around Moscow, both come from the scheduled 8.30 slot and provide great insight into the tone of the evening.
The Director General of the Ministry of Information speaks on its wartime role.
The Home Service interrupts its programming to make a special announcement.
The Soviet Ambassador praises British workers for 'Tanks for Russia' week.
The British Foreign Secretary travels to Moscow as Germany invades Russia.
Colonel Britton introduces a broadcast to the occupied territories by Ambassador Sir Stafford Cripps.
A former British resident of Moscow describes life there during the war.
A member of the RAF's medical staff visits war-torn Moscow.
BBC bosses advise programme makers to tread carefully when referring to Russia.
The importance of wartime news and the dangers of listening to it in Poland.
As Germany invades Russia, the BBC ponders the appropriateness of humour.
Programme makers are warned of continuing sensitivities with Russia.
A German propaganda broadcast meant to appeal to christians in Britain.
Examples of how Russia tailored its propaganda to national identities.
Scrutiny of the BBC intensifies.
Evidence of Soviet atrocities in Lwow [Lviv] reaches the BBC.
'Stalin is a primitive Caucasian bandit.'
The Head of Talks details the problems with broadcasting features on the USSR.
How to balance news reporting with morale building.
'The Internationale' can now be played, if caution is taken.
Should the BBC try to temper public enthusiasm for Russia?
Should the BBC try to temper public enthusiasm for Russia?
'Let the false legend prevail', the government advises.
'As regards the recent crisis in Russo-Polish relations, we have been most circumspect.'
The theme for the special programme is described.
Plans for a night of programmes dedicated to Russia cause concern at the Foreign Office.
Press release describing the night's schedule.
Script set in an aircraft factory which supplies Russia.
The BBC inadvertently causes a diplomatic row with unvetted broadcasts from Russia.
Churchill's statement about his conference with Stalin must dominate the news.
The latest news on the war and how much can be shared with audiences.
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