Skip to Main Content
Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Footer
Sign in / Register
TV On Demand
Film on TV
Film On Demand
I Was There - The Great War Interviews
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google Plus
Share on Reddit
Email to a friend
Half a century ago the BBC broadcast a landmark documentary series where soldiers and civilians who had survived the horrors of the First World War shared their personal experiences.
Only a fraction of the interviews were used so the remaining ones, shot in black and white and interspersed with shocking photographs, have now been compiled into this poignant, powerful and solemn tribute.
The men, in their late 60s but still spry and looking terribly dapper by today’s standards, dispassionately describe the fear, the filth, the smell and the noise of death. But their detachment makes it even more affecting. One recalls how, while recovering in a field hospital, he was told of some “lucky” men who’d been fighting since the start of war yet hadn’t sustained a scratch. “Poor devils,” he said grimly, so thankful that he was going home.
In the early 1960s, the BBC spoke to almost 300 people about their experiences during the First World War for landmark series The Great War, but only a fraction of the interviews were broadcast. This programme airs a selection of the original material, most of which has never been screened before, with recollections of the horrors of artillery bombardment and fleeting outbreaks of peace on the battlefield, as well as the stories of those on the home front waiting for news of their loved ones. Narrated by Samuel West.
Cast & Crew
Full Episode Guide
Coronation Street chaos! Eva and Maria fight it out in a fountain
Freeview film of the day Wednesday 20 September: Breaking Away
Doctor Foster episode 3 recap: departures, betrayals and intrigue – has Gemma left Parminster for good?
The Great British Bake Off episode 4: who left the tent and who was star baker?