The First World War: The Peoples' Story
The brutality, suffering and slaughter of World War I changed the face of Europe forever and had a devastating impact on those involved. Filmed over 25 years, this remarkable history series draws on an extraordinary archive of 200 interviews and digitally restored footage to tell the story of the Great War through the eyes of the ordinary people at the heart of the conflict.
Watch The First World War: The Peoples' Story and more acclaimed documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.
The First World War: The Peoples' Story on BBC Select
Ep 1: King and Country
Young men enthusiastically volunteered for the Great War unaware of the horrors to come.
The ‘Pals Battalions’, as they were known, were young men who had enthusiastically volunteered to serve their country in World War I. But soon they had their first taste of the horror of mass industrialized warfare. This groundbreaking history documentary features interviews with ordinary people who were present at the time, telling the story of the first brutal years of war in 1914 and 1915.
Ep 2: The Battle of the Somme
The 1916 Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest skirmishes in human history.
They thought it would be the epic battle that would end the war. But 1916’s Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest skirmishes of World War I, leading to a million casualties. This World War I history documentary tells the story of one of the most tragic battles mankind has faced through the remembrances of its last survivors and the thoughts of their desperate families at home.
Ep 3: The Fightto the End
For the Allies the war looked lost. But a series of brutal battles changed their fortunes.
The Allies appeared to be facing defeat as World War I dragged on. But a series of brutal, devastating battles turned the conflict in their favor, though the consequences were unimaginably tragic. Using personal testimony from those involved, this World War I documentary tells the story of these terrible battles and how Britain and its Allies turned a looming loss into victory.