The Great War Diaries

How ordinary people – soldiers, mothers, nurses, even children – experienced World War One

Elfriede Kuhr, a 12-year-old German schoolgirl living in a small town near the border with Russia; Marina Yurlova, a Russian teenager and daughter of a Cossack colonel; and Charles Edward Montague, an Englishman who was too old to volunteer for the army, but lied about his age to be allowed to fight: just three of the people who come to life in this radio version of our TV programme through their own letters, diaries and memoirs.

Ingrid Sharp, a historian from the University of Leeds, traces their stories one hundred years after the First World War began.

Their writings – some of them dramatised – portray the little-known human side of the world’s first truly global conflict: stories of love and loss, hope and grief, fervour and brutal death. The diaries are woven into a vivid tapestry of the Great War, with voices from the UK and France, Germany and Russia - not focusing on military strategy or political causes, but on what it was like for ordinary people to live through a conflict that is otherwise too overwhelming to grasp.

Writings which portray the little-known human side of the world’s first truly global conflict: stories of love and loss, hope and grief, fervour and brutal death.

Broadcaster
First Broadcast 25th December 2014 at 12noon
Credits
Presenter Ingrid Sharp
Producer Kristine Pommert