In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Declaration of war: PM Neville Chamberlain announces Britain is at war

Context

Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister in May 1937.

He is synonymous with the policy of 'appeasement' - of trying to avoid large scale warfare in Europe by seeking a diplomatic solution with Germany.

He met with Adolf Hitler three times in 1938, famously returning with a signed undertaking from the Nazi leader which Chamberlain thought would offer 'peace in our time'.

However, Hitler went back on his word and Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. It was then Chamberlain's solemn duty two days later to announce to the nation that it was at war with Germany.

Transcript

I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room of 10 Downing Street. This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German government a final note, stating that unless we heard from them - by 11 o'clock - that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us.  I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and that, consequently, this country is at war with Germany.

Programmes to download

Programmes to download at any time

Download programmes

A collection of programmes to download as mp3 files at any time. 2013-2014 now added.

Podcasts

Podcasts

Current podcasts

Summer 2014 podcasts available from 29/04/2014. Subscribe and never miss a programme!

WW1 commemoration

WW1 Performance Pack

WW1 Performance Pack

Commemorate the outbreak of WW1 by staging our specially-written play 'Archie Dobson's War'.

Private Peaceful - download now!

Podcasts

Private Peaceful

Don't miss it - all 13 episodes are now available to download but only until 26/05/2014.

Contact us

Contact us

Contact us

We welcome your feedback, suggestions and pupils' work.

Teacher's notes

Teacher's Notes

Online Teacher's Notes

Notes to support the programmes are simple to print or download as pdf.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.