The BBC’s World War One at Home project - researchers announced

Posted by er134 at Oct 16, 2013 02:12 PM |
Two members of University of Leicester involved in historic project

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 October 2013

The University of Leicester, founded in 1921 as a ‘living War Memorial’, has been selected to participate in a national BBC Project.

Two researchers from the University will join the BBC’s ‘World War One at Home’ project. The BBC project will tell the story of the First World War through the people whose lives were transformed - in their homes, schools, churches, theatres, streets, factories, and so on. These stories are planned to be broadcast on local radio and regional television in BBC English Regions and on television and radio in BBC Wales, BBC Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland.

The announcement follows an event this morning at Broadcasting House in London at which the BBC’s entire offering for the World War One commemoration beginning next year was unveiled.

The AHRC is funding researchers to work with broadcast journalists in the BBC Regions in England between September and January 2014 to source, select and showcase stories related to the First World War. Researchers will advise on the war’s impact on the regions and highlight links with broader national and international events and themes.

Following a successful pilot project held in the BBC West region, the initiative is now being rolled out across England, with the BBC Nations undertaking similar initiatives early next year. The AHRC recently issued a call for the planned projects in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland [ ].

The researchers selected for the next phase of the project from the University of Leicester are Dr Sally Horrocks, Lecturer in Modern British History from the School of History, and Colin Hyde from the East Midlands Oral History Archive at the Centre for Urban History.

Dr Horrocks said: “This project is an exciting opportunity to present the story of World War One in new ways by linking local people and places to the more familiar national and international stories of the conflict and help people to understand just how deeply the conflict helped to shape the region.  It is also a wonderful opportunity for us as academic researchers to engage with a different way of communicating our findings to new audiences and to delve into some intriguing and inspiring stories.”

Colin Hyde added: “When I first started in oral history there were plenty of people who remembered the First World War but the direct links back to that period have almost gone now. There are a lot of events and stories that many people are unaware of and this project is a wonderful opportunity to present these histories in an informative and accessible way. It’s also a pleasure for the University to be in partnership with the local BBC and further our commitment to work with local community groups across the region.”

World War One At Home is an ambitious, large-scale project that will bring more than a thousand powerful stories to life – all linked to specific places across the UK – in a way never told before.

It will uncover surprising stories about familiar neighbourhoods where the wounded were treated, major scientific developments happened, prisoners of war were held and where heroes are buried.

In what will be a unique broadcasting event, 1,400 stories (100 stories from each of eleven BBC regions, and the three BBC Nations) will feature on BBC regional TV and Local Radio in England, as well as on national programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, starting in early 2014.

AHRC involvement in the initiative is being undertaken through its Care for the Future theme which explores how ‘the relationship between the past, present and future shapes our understanding of the world around us.’ Further information: [ ]

For further information on the AHRC’s involvement in the BBC project, please go to: [ ]

A podcast on the pilot project: [ ]



For more information, please contact:

Dr Horrocks:  Email:

Colin Hyde:  Email:

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