UWE historians appointed national advisers on BBC's World War One at Home project

Issue date: 16 October 2013

The researchers selected to participate in the BBC's 'World War One at Home' project have just been announced. Following their involvement in the successful pilot project in the West region, Kent Fedorowich and Charles Booth from UWE Bristol will have roles as national advisers to the researchers. This is alongside their work in the BBC South West region, which includes Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.

The BBC project will tell the story of the First World War through the people whose lives were transformed – for example in their homes, schools, churches, theatres, streets and factories. These stories are planned to be broadcast regionally and nationally during 2014.

The AHRC is funding researchers to work with broadcast journalists in the BBC Regions in England between now 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.

The project is a partnership between the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the BBC. It started with a pilot scheme in the BBC West Region covering Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, where academic input was provided by Kent and Charles.

Kent said, “We are delighted to be in on the ground floor of the project. With the success of the pilot project Charles and I are now national advisers as well as academic consultants for BBC South West.”

Charles added, “I would really encourage people who have an interest in public engagement and knowledge exchange to grasp this opportunity to make a difference as far as our understanding of the First World War is concerned.”

The announcement was made on 16 October at Broadcasting House in London at which the BBC's entire offering for the World War One commemoration beginning next year was unveiled.

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.'

Here is a podcast of Kent and Charles describing the project:

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