Army: A Very British Institution

A collection of BBC programmes about the British Armed Forces, featuring classic documentaries and historic events dating back to the 1950s, available online to watch in full.

Mark Urban Mark Urban introduces the Army Collection

Newsnight Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban introduces Army: A Very British Institution. He traces how the BBC has gained intimate access to a complex organisation, revealing distinct communities that remain separate from wider society while recording what has changed and what has stayed the same inside the army since the 1950s. Read more

About the BBC releasing the archive

Collection items

1 - 16 of 27 items available to watch online

Breakaway: My Friends Think I'm Mad Breakaway: My Friends Think I'm Mad

First Broadcast: 1968 29 mins

An apprentice ladies hairdresser joins Junior Leaders of the Royal Armoured Corps. (1968)

Everyman: A Game of Soldiers Everyman: A Game of Soldiers

First Broadcast: 1990 40 mins

Two ex-Paras and an ex-Gunner describe the experience of training to kill for us. (1990)

In Her Majesty's Service: Corporal of Horse Christopher Slater, The Life Guards Squadron of the Household Cavalry Regiment In Her Majesty's Service: Corporal of Horse Christopher Slater, The Life Guards Squadron of the Household Cavalry Regiment

First Broadcast: 1977 20 mins

An insight into the life of the Corporal of Horse, Household Cavalry Regiment. (1977)

In the Highest Tradition: Episode 6 In the Highest Tradition: Episode 6

First Broadcast: 1989 29 mins

Regimental treasures, mess traditions and loyalty in the British Army. (1989)

In the Highest Tradition: Episode 1 In the Highest Tradition: Episode 1

First Broadcast: 1989 28 mins

A look at regimental tradition and the stories that make up regimental history. (1989)

In the Highest Tradition: Episode 2 In the Highest Tradition: Episode 2

First Broadcast: 1989 30 mins

The notable traditions of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. (1989)

In the Highest Tradition: Episode 3 In the Highest Tradition: Episode 3

First Broadcast: 1989 29 mins

Insights into the Gurkhas' history and commitment to the British Army. (1989)

In the Highest Tradition: Episode 4 In the Highest Tradition: Episode 4

First Broadcast: 1989 29 mins

The history of the Royal Scots Greys and the Charge of the Light Brigade. (1989)

In the Highest Tradition: Episode 5 In the Highest Tradition: Episode 5

First Broadcast: 1989 28 mins

From the origins of the Grenadier Guards to modern times. (1989)

Inside Out: Ticking With the Crow/The Officers' Mess Inside Out: Ticking With the Crow/The Officers' Mess

First Broadcast: 1989 1 hour, 29 mins

Squaddies and officers provide their viewpoint on the realities of Army service. (1989)

Meet the Red Devils: Parachute Regiment Meet the Red Devils: Parachute Regiment

First Broadcast: 1960 30 mins

The parachute regiment demonstrate training at their Aldershot barracks. (1960)

Moment of Truth: Episode 6 Moment of Truth: Episode 6

First Broadcast: 1985 30 mins

A group of 20 nurses from the NHS join Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. (1985)

Omnibus: Makers of the Queen's Music Omnibus: Makers of the Queen's Music

First Broadcast: 1969 49 mins

Recruiting regimental musicians at Kneller Hall Military School of Music. (1969)

Panorama: Sandhurst Panorama: Sandhurst

First Broadcast: 1975 49 mins

Officer cadets are trained to deal with the problems confronting the British Army. (1975)

The Paras: 480 Platoon The Paras: 480 Platoon

First Broadcast: 1983 30 mins

The 480 Recruit Platoon begin training to become members of the Parachute Regiment. (1983)

The Paras: The Maroon Machine The Paras: The Maroon Machine

First Broadcast: 1983 30 mins

The Paras' basic training continues and they earn the right to wear maroon berets. (1983)

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