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The Great War

Andrew Marr charts the events that shaped Britain. Britain gets its first taste of total war, which transformed the lives of people on the frontline and at home.

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 gun-boat 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.

59 minutes


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


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