Our First World War

In a new series, Peter Hart tells the story of the First World War via interviews, letters and diary entries left to us by those who lived through it. Here he introduces a group of people whose worlds would soon be turned upside down by the war. He will be following their experiences of the conflict – along with a number of others – as the First World War centenary progresses, with updates each month. You will be able to read the very latest episodes in this series (before they appear on the site) in BBC History Magazine

Latest Updates

Twenty-year-old George worked in the family textile business in Bury. July 1914 found him attending camp with the local regiment of the Territorial Force.
In mid-July 1914, the Royal Navy put on the Spithead Review. This was an astounding event, with some 59 battleships of all shapes and sizes amassed to be formally reviewed by King George V. Since the...
Lieutenant General Haig was commander of the 1st and 2nd Divisions of the British Army, which, in July 1914, were primed to spearhead any British military engagement on the continent.
George was born in Tontine in 1895, the son of a quarryman. In July 1914 he cleaned engines in the Wigan Locomotive Department but had also trained as a special reservist with the 3rd Lancashire...
Like all soldiers, stretcher bearers such as 20-year-old Private William Collins had to learn their basic foot drill. This was the ability to move from A to B in a formed body. It was also the...
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