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Jack Monroe and Rationing in the First World War

Helen Castor is joined by TV historian Dr Sam Willis to discuss food shortages in 1917, the history of the duffle coat, Franklin's last voyage and Silk Roads.

Helen Castor is joined by Dr Sam Willis to discuss food shortages in the First World War, Silk Roads, the history of the duffle coat and Franklin's infamous last voyage.

Food blogger Jack Monroe heads for the National Archives to learn how the submarine war in 1917 presented a serious threat to food supplies. She discovers that the rationing put in place then was successfully used again in World War Two.

Tom Holland meets the author of the best-seller Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan, to ask whether China is trying to emulate a centuries old history of trade and influence through its Belt and Road policy.

Fashion historian Amber Butchart marks the passing of author Michael Bond to explain the history of Paddington Bear's iconic duffle coat.

And Sam Willis previews Death in the Ice, a new exhibition on Franklin's ill-fated journey to find the North West passage.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Tue 11 Jul 2017 15:30


Helen Castor is joined by maritime historian, TV presenter and writer Dr Sam Willis and Professor Stephen Howe who is Senior Research Fellow in Historical Studies at the University of Bristol.

Rationing In World War 1

Food blogger Jack Monroe (comments are Jack’s) knows all about cooking on a budget and so, who better, to help us understand the privations of war 100 years ago when the German U Boat blockade left Britain with only six weeks supply of grain. Plans hurriedly put together then would shape government’s wartime food strategy right through to the end of the Second World War. Jack visited the National Archives in Kew to meet with Christopher Day and look at some of the early attempts to out food on the frontline of war.


World War 1 U Boat Blockade - Imperial War Museum


Bread in the First World War - The History Press

Paddington Bear

To mark the sad passing of Michael Bond, the man who created Paddington Bear, Helen Castor met up with Amber Butchart at the London College of Fashion to learn more about Paddington’s favourite overcoat: the duffle coat.


Gloverall - The Story of the Original Duffle Coat

Death In The Ice

Dr Sam Willis went to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich for a preview of a new exhibition which charts the infamous last expedition of Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin who perished along with his 128 men in the arctic waters around King William Island in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut. For the first time Death In The Ice brings together artefacts from Franklin's two ships Erebus and Terror as well as the oral history of the Inuit people.


Finding HMS Erebus and HMS Terror - CBC News


Parks Canada - Franklin Exhibition

China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Tom Holland asked Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, to explain China's $900Billion trade programme as part of a much longer history of cultural and economic contact between the Far East, Asia and the Mediterranean.


China’s Belt and Road - The Guardian & Financial Times


  • Tue 11 Jul 2017 15:30