Refugees in Earls Court, Cardiff’s Land Girls, and the Glasgow Rent Strikes: BBC project to uncover life on the home front during WW1

Untold stories about what life was like in neighbourhoods across the country during the First World War are to be broadcast by the BBC.

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Untold stories about what life was like in neighbourhoods across the country during the First World War are to be broadcast by the BBC.

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From Monday 24 February, 1,400 accounts of the war – all linked to specific places across the UK – will be broadcast on local radio and regional television, and made available at the BBC’s online portal, bbc.co.uk/ww1.

As part of the World War One at Home project, BBC journalists across the country have for the past 18 months been working with the Imperial War Museums to uncover stories about familiar neighbourhoods where the wounded were treated, crucial front line supplies were made, major scientific developments took place, and prisoners of war were held.

Now, on the eve of the centenary of the First World War, the stories will be broadcast across all BBC Local Radio stations and regional television in England and the Channel Islands, and on BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland.

Craig Henderson, head of programmes, BBC English Regions, told History Extra: “This feels like a really important moment – one that the BBC should mark with respect, but also with something of scale.

“The idea is quite simple – as the best ones often are! We wanted to look at places we can still largely see today.

“It’s awesome how many of the places featured in the project are still there – you can relate to what happened in your area so much more easily, I think.

“We’ve combined the power of our storytelling with audio and video.  This is a project for its time – only now can you collaborate like this.

“We have been surprised at how many incredible stories are out there. We wanted to tell 100 quality stories for each of the 14 regions, so they will live on forever. The stories we have found are incredibly fresh, and very revealing about life in these places.

“We are all familiar with the tragedy at the front, but this project shows how the war affected everyone. It’s about the war at home.

“The project should also flow seamlessly from Jeremy Paxman’s series Britain’s Great War. It really brings it home how the country was transformed by the war.”

The 1,400 stories from World War One at Home are being broadcast in phases – the first will begin on 24 February.

All BBC Local Radio stations across England will broadcast a World War One At Home story at 8.15am each weekday, and at various times throughout the day from Monday 24 February to Friday 28 February. More World War One at Home stories will be broadcast in April and through the rest of the year.

BBC regional television news programmes in England will broadcast a World War One At Home story each weekday from 24–28 February at 6.30pm on BBC One.  Many of the stories will feature never-before-seen footage of life on the home front.

To find out more about the project, and to browse hundreds of stories from 24 February, visit bbc.co.uk/ww1.

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To look at photos of how areas such as Derby, Somerset and Lincolnshire looked during the war, click here.