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World War One: The People’s Story

Series Description

“An incredibly moving testament” —Daily Express (UK)

“Fascinating insight” —The Newcastle Journal (UK)

“Outstanding actors…read earnestly, with heartfelt honesty” —Daily Mail (UK)

“Beautifully captured an era” —Daily Mail (UK)


Real lives of WWI, told through their own words.

Through original diaries, letters, and memoirs, this unforgettable documentary tells how the lives of regular British men and women were transformed by the Great War. A reservist leaves for the front determined to write to his mother every few days. A newlywed says goodbye to his pregnant wife. A young woman fears that when her fiancé sails for France, her hopes of marriage will disappear. For parents and children, soldiers and factory workers alike, life and love go on but never again as they did before. Few could imagine the horrors ahead: hundreds of thousands would never return, and those who did would carry wounds—physical, emotional, psychological—that would change their lives forever.

Along with historical footage, an outstanding cast of actors reenact first-hand accounts uncovered from attics, archives, and libraries across Britain. Performers include Daniel Mays (Ashes to Ashes), Matthew McNulty (The Paradise), Claire Foy (Little Dorrit), Romola Garai (Emma), Alison Steadman (Pride & Prejudice), and Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy). Narrated by Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), this four-part series recreates the extraordinary stories of ordinary people, told in their own words.