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Britain's Greatest Generation

  • Season 1
  • 4 episodes
  • History
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Episode 2: Their Finest Hour

Summary

The Second World War saw men from all classes unite to fight the Nazis, and this programme meets some of the last surviving pilots of the Battle of Britain. Women, who had been excluded from many jobs, worked in everything from anti-aircraft gun batteries to steel-making factories. The Blitz saw rescue workers risk all to save those trapped in bombed buildings. For many of the era's last survivors, the defiant spirit that brought the nation together remains one of their proudest moments, as this documentary reveals.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It isn’t always easy to render the memories of the wartime generation televisually fresh and vivid, but this series does it well.

When Geoffrey Wellum recalls flying his Spitfire at an armada of 150 German planes in 1940, we’re there with him. Dorothy Hughes describes “the awful smell of burning flesh and burning buildings” she experienced serving on an anti-aircraft battery in the Blitz.

And, movingly, we see the one-man tribute that former merchant seaman Austin Byrne pays to comrades who didn’t survive when their ship went down in the Arctic: he hoists a red ensign on a flagpole in his back garden and salutes.

How to watch

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Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorSteve Humphries
EditorAndy Attenburrow
ProducerSteve Humphries
ProducerAndy Attenburrow

All episodes

  • Episode 2

    Their Finest Hour

    Summary

    The Second World War saw men from all classes unite to fight the Nazis, and this programme meets some of the last surviving pilots of the Battle of Britain. Women, who had been excluded from many jobs, worked in everything from anti-aircraft gun batteries to steel-making factories. The Blitz saw rescue workers risk all to save those trapped in bombed buildings. For many of the era's last survivors, the defiant spirit that brought the nation together remains one of their proudest moments, as this documentary reveals.
    Recommended

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    It isn’t always easy to render the memories of the wartime generation televisually fresh and vivid, but this series does it well.

    When Geoffrey Wellum recalls flying his Spitfire at an armada of 150 German planes in 1940, we’re there with him. Dorothy Hughes describes “the awful smell of burning flesh and burning buildings” she experienced serving on an anti-aircraft battery in the Blitz.

    And, movingly, we see the one-man tribute that former merchant seaman Austin Byrne pays to comrades who didn’t survive when their ship went down in the Arctic: he hoists a red ensign on a flagpole in his back garden and salutes.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorSteve Humphries
    EditorAndy Attenburrow
    ProducerSteve Humphries
    ProducerAndy Attenburrow
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