Friday 06 Dec 2013
BBC One Daytime marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War with a week of special programmes from Monday 7 to Friday 11 September at 9.15am.
The Week We Went To War, presented by Forces Sweetheart Katherine Jenkins, celebrates the everyday heroes of the Home Front, from families who took in evacuees, to ordinary people who went into bombed buildings at risk of their own lives to save those trapped inside.
Each day Katherine, the world-renowned singer who is also known for her charitable work supporting British troops, is joined in the studio by Michael Aspel talking about his wartime memories, including his experiences as an evacuee, and, from Bletchley Park, BBC antiques expert Tim Wonnacott looks at the everyday wartime items which have become today's collectables.
Among the wartime stories included in the programme are interviews with survivors of the Catford school bombing in South London; the recipient of Britain's first George Cross; and witnesses of the worst civilian tragedy on the Home Front. Survivors of what became known as the Bethnal Green Tube disaster recall that fateful day.
Tributes are paid during the series to the firemen of London; and the story of one of the most unexpected and intensive bombing raids in Britain is told – when the town of Clydebank, in Scotland, was virtually wiped off the map.
Meanwhile, famous people who lived through the war – actress Sylvia Syms, Baroness Williams, Tony Benn, Lionel Blair, Leslie Phillips and Rabbi Lionel Blue – share their childhood memories.
The Week We Went To War is accompanied by new period drama Land Girls (BBC Birmingham), starring Nathaniel Parker, Sophie Ward and Christine Bottomley.
BBC Learning is supporting the week with a project aimed at school children aged seven to 12 throughout the UK and the BBC Archive is releasing a new online collection exploring the outbreak of the Second World War, featuring radio recordings and documents from the period.
The Week We Went To War is a Finestripe production for BBC Daytime.
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