The Great War

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Episode 3 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

Britain gets its first taste of total war. Marr argues that no shock has ever hit these islands with quite the force of what became known as the Great War. It transformed the lives of the British people - most dramatically the millions who fought on the frontline, but also those at home who were bereaved, bombed, uprooted and bankrupted.

With vivid archive and extraordinary anecdotes, Andrew Marr tells the story of Lord Kitchener's volunteer army - the biggest in history. He also describes German gunboat assaults on the north east coast of England; the strange disappearance of Britain's first sea lord at the height of the war; the first bomb ever to fall on Britain; and the sex scandal that threatened to destroy the British establishment.

Visiting the trenches of Flanders, Marr imagines the horrors of industrialised warfare and reveals the gallows humour that thrived there. Three quarters of a million men never returned from the battlefields. At home, civilians pulled together and worked for the war effort as never before. Under the premiership of David Lloyd George, they also witnessed the birth of 'big government' in Britain.

  • Photo: World War One trench

    Photo: World War One trench

    Andrew visits Flanders in Belguim, site of some of the bloodiest trench warfare of World War One.

  • Photo: Kilmainham Gaol

    Photo: Kilmainham Gaol

    Andrew is pictured inside Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, where Irish Rebels were executed after the 1916 uprising.

Credits

Presenter
Andrew Marr
Writer
Andrew Marr
Director
Robin Dashwood
Producer
Robin Dashwood
Producer
Chris Granlund

Broadcasts

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