BBC World War One At Home tours UK this Summer

Commemorating the start of World War One, we hope these ambitious events will give visitors a hands-on experience, helping people to explore how this conflict shaped our world at home and continues to influence us today.Sinead Rocks, Acting Controller, BBC Learning
Date: 30.04.2014     Last updated: 02.05.2014 at 15.42
The BBC today announced plans to continue its commemorations of the First World War Centenary with a series of major public events this summer.

The BBC World War One At Home Tour will visit county shows, summer festivals, air shows and bustling shopping centres the length and breadth of the UK. Actor Larry Lamb is one of the well-known BBC faces who will take part in a number of the events, which will reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives’ links to the war.

The family-friendly events will include hands-on activities, performances and interactive sessions designed to appeal to everyone from eight to 80. The World War One At Home Tour will feature a mix of eight flagship events, as well as 17 others which will run from May to September.

People attending the eight large-scale events in Woolwich, Wolverhampton, Sunderland, Dundee, Bristol, Rhyl, Portrush and Nottingham can visit The Briefing Room for interviews and presentations hosted by BBC stars including actor Larry Lamb. They can volunteer to be put through their paces on an outdoor Parade Ground and, at a number of events, make their own World War One At Home ID Permit to take away in The Recruitment Office. People can also learn about how medicine and communications were transformed during the war, including demonstrations of how carrier pigeons were an invaluable resource for sending messages.

As well as the eight flagship events, the World War One At Home Tour will visit 17 other sites including The Suffolk Show, Great Yorkshire Show, Weymouth Carnival and Leicester City Festival. In addition to making their own ID Permits and learning about communications, visitors can also have a go at being a war reporter and meet experts from Imperial War Museums to search their families’ connections to the war. They can also hear interviews with BBC personalities and local experts and explore hands on activities in The Pals Tent and meet BBC Local Radio teams as the stations broadcast live from each site.The World War One At Home tour is a partnership between BBC Learning and BBC English Regions. The BBC also continues its partnership with Imperial War Museums (IWM) during the Centenary commemorations and IWM's Lives of the First World War* will be an integral part of the tour. 14-18 NOW are also key partners, and visitors to most sites along the BBC World War One At Home Tour will be invited to take part in the nationwide project Letter to An Unknown Soldier**, inspired by the famous memorial statue of a soldier at Paddington Station in London. Other partners include: The Royal Signals Museum; Royal Pigeon Racing Association and The Royal College of Pathologists.

Sinead Rocks, Acting Controller of BBC Learning, said: “Commemorating the start of World War One, we hope these ambitious events will give visitors a hands-on experience, helping people to explore how this conflict shaped our world at home and continues to influence us today.”

Craig Henderson, Head of Programmes for BBC English Regions, who oversaw the launch of the World War One At Home programmes earlier this year, adds: “As the national broadcaster which is also at the heart of the communities it serves, the BBC is in a unique position to stage a project like the World War One At Home Tour, reaching people right across the country.”

The BBC’s landmark UK-wide project World War One At Home, will continue on local, regional and national radio and television and online from 31 May 2014. This includes eleven half hour regional TV documentaries which will be broadcast across England on BBC One, Monday 2 June at 7.30pm.

Entry to many of the events is free. For a full list of BBC World War One At Home Tour dates and venues as well as World War One programming on the BBC visit

Notes to Editors

Venues and dates for BBC World War One At Home Tour

Entry to many of the events is free. 

May 28 and 29 Ipswich, The Suffolk Show, BBC Radio Suffolk

May 31 Norwich, The Forum, BBC Radio Norfolk

June 14 and 15 Liverpool, Mersey River Festival, BBC Radio Merseyside

June 21 Stoke on Trent, Kings Hall, BBC Radio Stoke Family History Day

June 24 Blackpool, Armed Forces Week, BBC Radio Lancashire

June 28 Woolwich, Great Get Together and Armed Forces Day, BBC London 94.9 *

July 5 and 6 Colchester, Colchester Military Tournament, BBC Essex

July 8, 9 and 10 Harrogate, Great Yorkshire Show, BBC Radio York/BBC Radio Leeds/BBC Radio Sheffield

July 12 and 13 Wolverhampton, The Wolverhampton & Black Country Show, BBC WM 95.6 *

July 19 Hull, Queen Victoria Square BBC Radio Humberside

July 22 Skegness, BBC Radio Lincolnshire

July 26 and 27 The Sunderland International Airshow, BBC Newcastle *

August 1, 2 Dundee, City Square, BBC Scotland *

August 4 Folkestone Step Short, BBC Radio Kent Road of Remembrance

August 8-10 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, BBC Radio Bristol *

August 14 Okehampton, Okehampton Show, BBC Radio Devon

August 16 and 17 Eastbourne International Air Show, BBC Sussex

August 20 Weymouth Carnival, BBC Radio Solent

August 23-24 Leicester City Festival, BBC Radio Leicester

August 30 and 31 Rhyl, Rhyl Airshow, BBC Wales *

September 6 and 7, Portrush, Co. Antrim. Air Waves Portrush, BBC Northern Ireland *

September 10 Gloucester History Festival, BBC Radio Gloucestershire

September 13,14 Manchester Piccadilly Gardens, BBC Radio Manchester

September 19 and 20 Nottingham, Nottingham Fields of Battle Exhibition *

September 21 Derbyshire Day, BBC Radio Derby

Flagship BBC World War One at Home Tour Events are marked with *

The BBC’s World War One Season

World War One on the BBC is the biggest and most ambitious season ever commissioned. Comprising over 130 new commissions and over 2,500 hours of programming across four years, the Season will offer a unique way to understand a war that changed our world, reflecting the centenary from every perspective; locally, nationally and internationally, and utilising the full range of the BBC’s services. The season features numerous documentaries from some of the country’s most eminent historians, drama from leading writers, eclectic music, arts, science, live events coverage and news and current affairs programming.

The full press pack detailing content across BBC TV, radio and online is available here 

Alongside the programming across TV and radio, the BBC will also offer resources and develop innovative ways in which everyone can explore the war as it affected them, their families and their local communities.

BBC teams across the UK are collating and researching local stories in conjunction with Imperial War Museums and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. World War One At Home will bring together 1400 stories broadcast through the BBC’s local and national channels telling how the war affected every community and area of the UK.

Resources for schools will encourage children to think about what life was like during wartime and how daily life has changed over the past century. Online interactive resources will cover a number of school curriculum areas and, in the broader digital sphere, the portal at will feature the first of the new innovative iWonder guides. Blending documentary, discussion and presenter led mini-films each guide takes online users through some of the key issues relating to the war, building to a collection of over 100 guides, this interactive content will offer a deeper understanding about the war and challenge preconceptions about the conflict.

For information on:

*Lives of the First World War

**Letter to an Unknown Soldier