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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Full range of BBC programmes to mark Remembrance season: programme details

War veteran wearing military medals on Remembrance Day

BBC One

Festival Of Remembrance
Saturday 7 November, 9.15pm

The Festival of Remembrance is the annual tribute to the sacrifices of British Armed Forces and it will once again take place this year against the backdrop of losses over the past 12 months.

Presented by Huw Edwards, this year there are performances from singer Hayley Westenra who will perform in a tribute to the original Armed Forces sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn, who will also be in attendance.

This year's festival broadcast will include heroic tales of bravery from servicemen and women including the story of Navy medic Kate Nesbitt who this year became the first woman in the Royal Navy to be awarded the Military Cross for her act in saving colleagues while under attack from the Taliban.

The ceremony will culminate in the traditional and moving moment when thousands of poppy petals fall from the ceiling.

Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph
Sunday 8 November, 10.25am

David Dimbleby is in London's Whitehall for the solemn service when the country remembers the sacrifice made by so many in the two World Wars and in other more recent conflicts.

In the year when the country bid farewell to its last First World War veteran, Harry Patch, and the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War, Her Majesty The Queen will lay the first wreath on behalf of the nation.

The coverage this year includes a number of poignant interviews with those who have served in the wars and those who have been most affected. These include interviews with recently returned members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who lost seven members of the Regiment on their recent tour of Afghanistan, and poetry from Nigel Moffett, who talks about losing his beloved son in Afghanistan.

Songs Of Praise
Sunday 9 November, 4.55pm

There will once again be a special Songs Of Praise to mark Remembrance Sunday. The episode will feature the village of Wootton Bassett near RAF Lyneham, which has become symbolic with the war dead as the people regularly line the streets to honour repatriated soldiers.

Pam Rhodes will interview local people including Anne Bevis, the Royal British Legion's branch secretary who helped initiate the street-lined tributes paid to members of the armed forces in the village.

The programme will pay tribute to the last three veterans of the First World War who all died this year and there will be traditional hymns played including I Vow To Thee My Country, and O Valiant Hearts.

Passing Of A Generation
Wednesday 11 November, 10.30am

Presented by Huw Edwards, this is a special service from Westminster Abbey being held to mark the passing of the World War One generation.

Her Majesty The Queen will begin and end the commemoration at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior – beneath which is buried a soldier, unidentified by name or rank, who fought in the Great War and has come to symbolise all those who died.

The abbey will be full with members of the public from all over the country who have applied for tickets to the service because of their link to those who have died in armed conflicts.

BBC Two

The Passing Of A Generation Highlights
Wednesday 11 November, 7.00pm

Highlights of the earlier service from Westminster Abbey.

BBC Four

The Children Who Fought Hitler
Sunday 8 November, 9.00pm

This programme tells the forgotten story of an heroic battle to help liberate Europe from the Nazis, fought by the children of the British Memorial School. The school served a unique horticultural community of former First World War soldiers and their families who tended the war graves in Ypres.

Storyville's Section 60 – Arlington National Cemetery
Monday 9 November, 10.00pm

The programme provides an intimate glimpse into the grief, pride and loss suffered by visitors to the largest military burial ground in the United States.

BBC Radio 4 (all on Sunday 8 November)

Ceremony Of Remembrance from the Cenotaph, 10.30am

Nicholas Witchell sets the scene in London's Whitehall for the solemn ceremony when the nation remembers the sacrifice made by so many in the two World Wars and in other more recent conflicts.

Poppies Are Red, Cornflowers Are Blue, 11.45am

Poppies Are Red, Cornflowers Are Blue is presented by Mark Whitaker and is the fourth series of annual 15-minute vignettes for Remembrance Sunday.

This programme is not just about how the poppy became the symbol of remembrance in Britain – although a fascinating story which is rarely told in full – but it is also a deeper analysis of why it rapidly became such a strong and enduring symbol – to the point where some fear it is becoming over-exploited.

It also takes a look at France's rather less ubiquitous flower of remembrance, the blue cornflower, and, through these symbols, an insight into the two country's different approaches to remembering those who have died in conflicts past.

The Two-Minute Silence, 2.45pm

Every Remembrance Day during the two-minute silence, Clare Jenkins's mother remembers her father, Clare's grandfather, who was wounded during the early days of the First World War on the Mons Retreat from Belgium.

Meanwhile, Bill Stewardson thinks of a far more recent conflict – that taking place in Iraq. His 21-year-old son Alex Green was killed by a sniper in Basra two years ago.

In this programme, Clare Jenkins talks to her mother, Bill and to others about their personal reasons to respect the two-minute silence.

BBC Radio 2

Festival Of Remembrance
Saturday 7 November, 8.00pm

Chris Stuart presents highlights from this year's annual Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance.

Behind Enemy Lines
Saturday 7 November, 9.00pm

On 8 August 1991, British journalist John McCarthy was freed in Beirut by the militant group Islamic Jihad, after more than five years in captivity.

Now Patron of the Medical Foundation For The Care Of Victims Of Torture, John presents Behind Enemy Lines, a documentary which sheds light on the experiences of other survivors of captivity, hostages, civilian detainees and prisoners of war, conflict and conscience.

The programme includes John's first meeting with journalist Alan Johnston, who was held in Gaza for four months.

Listeners will be notified of the potentially disturbing content of the programme before transmission.

Good Morning Sunday
Sunday 8 November, 7.00am

On Remembrance Sunday, Aled Jones talks to Sir Ranulph Fiennes, whose father was killed in action in the Second World War, before Sir Ranulph was born.Mark Knopfler talks about the inspiration behind his two Remembrance themed songs. And former RAF Flight Lieutenant John Nichol, who was shot down in Iraq during the first Gulf War, gives the Moment of Reflection.

Alan Titchmarsh
Sunday 8 November, 7.00pm

Alan Titchmarsh presents a special selection of melodies for Remembrance Sunday including tracks from chart-topping Dame Vera Lynn, The Banks Of Green Willow by George Butterworth and London Fantasia by Clive Richardson.

Sunday Half Hour
Sunday 8 November, 8.30pm

Brian D'Arcy introduces some well-loved hymns of remembrance to commemorate and honour all those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world.

Mike Harding
Wednesday 11 November, 7.00pm

Mike Harding plays the very best in folk music and, to mark Remembrance Day, he plays a selection of some of the many folk songs inspired by the First World War.

BBC Nations and Regions Remembrance programming highlights

All 40 local BBC radio stations will feature coverage of various remembrance events, with highlights including The Hero Around the Corner, the story of Reading's only Victoria Cross on BBC Berkshire on Sunday 8 November, and a broadcast on BBC Gloucestershire live from the Cenotaph in Gloucester where coverage will include interviews with the Chaplain of One Rifles regiment, who are based in the county, and who have recently been in Afghanistan where they lost troops.

Highlights of coverage from the BBC's nations include a special feature on BBC Radio Scotland, on Sunday 8 November at 10.30am. In A Family Found, Sybil Le Fleur talks about her escape from Burma during the Second World War, leaving behind her family and friends, and her subsequent separation from them for 66 years.

On the same day on BBC Radio Ulster at 11.45am, Andrea Rea presents Before The War, a look back at life before the First World War and an examination how people's lives came to be changed.

On BBC Radio Wales, a documentary on the nature of silence – as millions reflect during the traditional minute's silence at the Cenotaph and across the UK, BBC Radio Wales asks in The Story Of Silence what it is that makes those few moments of quiet so special.

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