The Christmas Truce
Veterans recall the Christmas Truce of 1914, the trenches by night, and what they got up to behind the lines. An omnibus edition of five episodes spanning 1914 to 1917.
An omnibus edition of five episodes of Voices of the First World War, spanning the course of the war from 1914 to 1917.
Narrated by Dan Snow, this edition begins with the Christmas Truce of 1914, when German and British troops mingled and played football in No Man's Land on the Western Front. Veterans recall the war as they remember it - from how they survived the nights in the trenches, to what they got up to behind the lines. Conscientious objectors and family members speak about their experiences from 1916 onwards. And William Towers describes his medical treatment and journey home after being injured at Passchendaele in 1917.
There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, and would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war.
Voices of the First World War is broadcast in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.