first world war

  • Video contentArmistice Day celebrations

    Armistice Day Ceremonies

    The film starts with titles explaining the Armistice Day ceremony. It then goes on to show the march past the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Context The Great War officially ended in July 1919 when Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles. Soon […]

  • Video contentus-soldiers-france

    US soldiers in a camp in France

    This short clip shows a large number of US troops eating their rations. They are wearing their ‘doughboy hats’. Context US troops fought alongside British empire and French forces in the latter stages of the war. The USA entered the […]

  • Video contentinspecting-german

    Inspecting Captured German Defences

    In this short sequence we see Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig inspecting the wrecked remains of the Hindenburg Line, Germany’s strongest line of defences. With him is Colonel Robert S. Bacon, a US officer, and French and British officers as […]

  • Video contentfor-the-empire-2

    For the Empire – Part 2

    This clip takes us first through a sequence of ruined cities in Belgium and France and shows scenes of complete devastation. This is contrasted with London’s safety from such attacks and this then links to a shot of merchant ships, […]

  • Video contentfor-the-empire-1

    For the Empire – Part 1

    At the start of this clip Britannia (representing Britain) points out ‘What others are doing for us’. We then see a young recruit being waved off to war by his poor, elderly parents. The action then moves to scenes of […]

  • Video contentbritish-soldiers-digging

    British Soldiers Digging Trenches

    This clip shows trainee Tommies digging trenches, probably in England in 1915. The clip closes with instruction on rifles and a machine gun. Context The film shows troops training before being sent to the western front in 1915. They are […]

  • Audio contentinf3-133-britain-strikes

    Total war

    This talk focuses on the concept of total war, what it means, and what it has meant over the past 200 years, with particular reference to the First and Second World Wars, the Boer War, the American Civil War and […]

  • Audio contentRed Cross disinfectant soap 1909, cat. ref. COPY1-284 (272)

    The British Red Cross and its archives

    The British Red Cross has long recognised the importance of its history and archive collection, maintaining an archive since the late 1960s. The talk outlines the history of the British Red Cross and show how this has left a record […]

  • Audio contentcopy-1-460-gwr-locomotive-no100-william-dean-1903

    Railways and the mobilisation for war in 1914

    The historian AJP Taylor, considering the events of 1914, once argued: ‘The First World War had begun – imposed on the statesmen of Europe by railway timetables. It was an unexpected climax to the railway age.’ Bruno Derrick looks at […]

  • Audio contentcopy-1-217i-201-our-weather-by-harrison-and-townsend-1904-lrg

    Galaxy Zoo and old weather: exploring the potential of citizen science

    A team at Oxford University has launched a range of ‘citizen science’ projects, all aimed at delivering real research through the efforts of a large community of public volunteers. ‘Old Weather’ is the first non-astronomical project for the team and […]

  • Audio contentShankill Road Contingent Imperial Yeomanry, 1900, cat. ref. COPY 1/446

    Nineteenth century soldiers: getting the most from online resources

    This talk aims to explain the intricacies of soldiers’ service records online, in record series WO 97, and how using the records of the First World War is something which should be considered when researching nineteenth-century soldiers. William Spencer is […]

  • Audio contentair29-4062-raf-vulcan-bomber-july-1967

    Royal Air Force service records

    Last year saw the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Air Force. The records of thousands of men (and women) who served in the RAF and its predecessors during the First World War are held by The National […]

  • Audio contentinf13-213-52-world-war-ii-poster---the-life-line-is-firm-thanks-to-the-merchant-navy

    Merchant Navy operational records

    Janet Dempsey examines the wealth of records which deal with the tragedy, terror, heroism and honour of the Merchant Navy in both World Wars.

  • Audio contentvoices-of-the-armistice

    Voices of the Armistice: Treaty of Versailles

    Extracts from the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war between Germany and the Allied Powers. Original document catalogue reference: FO 93/36/76

  • Audio contentvoices-of-the-armistice

    Voices of the Armistice: Chinese celebrations

    The announcement of the Armistice in China and details of celebrations and commemorations. Original document catalogue reference: CO 873/547

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