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On June 28th, 1914,
a Serbian man called Gavrilo Princip
shot and killed Archduke Franz-Ferdinand,
heir to the Austrian Hungarian Empire.
This was the spark
that started the First World War.
Tension had been rising in Europe for many years,
as competing European powers claimed new territories.
The race to have bigger ships and armies
also built tension.
By the start of the 20th century,
countries in Europe had made deals
to look after each other.
The British, French and Russians
joined to create a big alliance
called the Triple Entente,
known as the Allied Powers.
The Germans teamed up with Austria-Hungary.
They later became known as the Central Powers,
with Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire, run by Turkey.
However, forming gangs did not help the tense situation.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
led to events that meant
even if people didn't want to fight,
they had made promises
which had to be kept.
28th July, 1914 -
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
Russia asked Germany to get Austria-Hungary
to hold back...
..and when they refused,
Russia prepared her army to fight.
1st August, 1914,
Germany declared war on Russia,
to defend her ally, Austria-Hungary.
France, who had a treaty with Russia,
now had to get involved.
3rd August, 1914 - Germany
had a plan to beat France quickly,
but this meant they had to invade neutral Belgium.
4th August, 1914 -
Britain protests at the invasion of Belgium
and declares war on Germany.
And that was how it all began.
And it was to last four years,
bringing in even more countries along the way.
When World War I started,
the British army wasn't as big as the German army.
The British Government asked men to volunteer.
Lots of friends and neighbours joined together.
Pals Battalions were formed.
By the end of September 1914,
over 50 towns had Pals Battalions.
4518. Private Frederick Prescott.
13th York and Lancaster Regiment.
19 years old.
I hope I do all right tomorrow,
going over the top.
Feeling a bit nervous. Don't want to let the lads down.
At least we'll all be together - me, Billy and Arthur.
Known each other since we were kids.
Lived on the same street, all worked at Brantons, in town.
They said if you joined up with your mates, you'd all stay together.
There's hundreds of lads from our town in this regiment.
Loads of us joined up on the same day.
They call us The Barnsley Pals.
Training were hard at first. No-one were properly fit.
On the first day, we went for a run
and we were all coughing like old men.
Food were good, though.
We had porridge, bread and jam, soup, beef stew.
I loved that stew.
Every day, we did marching, physical training, bayonet fighting.
It were great. Best bit about training
were doing it with your mates. Staying together with your pals.
And then we all got our kit.
So much stuff.
We looked at each other and we said,
"That's it, lads. We're proper soldiers now."
And now we're in France.
For the past two days, we've been marching up to the front line.
It gets louder the closer you get, and then, finally, you're here.
Front line. Fire trench. Germans are just over there.
Anyway, we've just had the talk.
Tomorrow morning, there's a big push
and we're all going over the top together.
Me, Billy and Arthur.
We'll be all right. Course we'll be all right.
We're the Barnsley Pals, us.
When the war started, lots more soldiers were needed.
Not everyone wanted to go to war.
Conscription came in 1916.
At first, conscription meant that all fit,
single men had to join the army,
whether they wanted to or not.
This was then changed to include married men as well.
This gave Britain 2.5 million more soldiers.
But conscription made life hard for a lot of people.
Elizabeth Draycott. Housewife, widow, mother. 45 years old.
I don't have good handwriting,
but I bought a new pen and I tried my best.
This is a copy of the letter I sent to the War Office.
16th November, 1916.
"Dear Sir, I am writing on behalf of my son,
"Stanley Edward Draycott.
"Stanley is 18 years old and he's the youngest of my three boys.
"My two older sons, Arthur and William,
"they volunteered in 1914
"and they joined the 1st Hertfordshire Regiment.
"For the past two years,
"Stanley has worked alone on our small farm in Hitchin
"and he's done his best to keep it running.
"Last year, William was badly wounded at Loos.
"He lost an arm and, although he is home with us now,
"he's unable to do much useful work, so we rely on Stanley,
"because Arthur is still at the Front.
"This letter came, telling us that Stanley is to be conscripted.
"He has to report for duty in three weeks.
"I am now very worried because I do not know how we will manage
"if Stanley has to go.
"Without Stanley, it will be impossible to keep running this farm
"and I know no other way in which we can continue to earn a living.
"Sir, I am proud that two of my sons
"have served their country,
"but I appeal to you, please exempt Stanley from this conscription
"and spare us further pain or hardship.
"Yours sincerely, Elizabeth Draycott."
Letter came yesterday.
They rejected my appeal.
Stanley has to report for duty next week.
How will we survive now?
This is a diary that was kept by a sergeant in 1915.
We can learn more about
World War I from diaries.
It's good to keep diaries because people in the future
can find out what happened in that time.
Kathleen Jane Morgan, 22 years old.
It's just a school exercise book.
It only cost a penny to buy,
but it's the most precious thing that I possess.
My husband, Captain Wilfred John Morgan
of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, wrote in this book every single day.
Sometimes, he was too tired
to scribble more than a couple of words,
but every day, he wrote something.
Someone's spilt coffee on this page
and, look, here,
it's been trodden on by muddy boots.
And here, the corner of the front cover has been nibbled.
A rat, I think.
I often read this page.
The last page.
"Friday, 6th July, 1916. Mametz Wood. The Somme."
Then he writes, "It's 8:30 at night.
"Still light and very warm.
"Earlier, I talked to my men about the big push tomorrow.
"Told them that when we went over the top, they were to stick together
"and follow their sergeants.
"Told them not to run, but to keep walking steadily
"until they reached German lines.
"Said we weren't expecting much trouble from the enemy
"because our guns had been shelling their lines for three days
"and they'd probably all run away by now.
"Then I wished them all luck and told them to try and get some sleep.
"'It's going to be all right, men,' I said.
"'We're going to be fine.'"
There isn't any more.
They found this book on his body the next day.
When they told me they were going to send it to me,
I was frightened that I might find blood on it
or a bullet hole or something, but there's nothing.
Just a coffee stain and a muddy footprint,
and a missing corner where a rat had its breakfast.
British Empire colonies
sent more than 2.5 million men to fight.
India sent more than a million men.
Indian soldiers were called Sepoys.
4050, Khudadad Khan, Sepoy.
Indian Army. 26 years old.
When we Sepoys arrived in France last year,
we were determined to show the world that we were brave fighters.
We didn't have to wait long to prove ourselves.
In October, 1914, the Germans attacked in Northern Belgium.
We were rushed to the front lines and told to stop the enemy advance,
but nothing could stop the Germans that day.
We tried to hold them back with our machine guns,
but they just kept coming.
Wave and wave of Germans rushing towards us.
We Sepoys were outnumbered five-to-one,
but each man fought bravely.
We knew we had to hold that line. Men were coming to help us.
We had to keep the Germans back just long enough.
One by one, our men were hit, until mine was the last gun firing.
And then I was hit, too.
A bullet smashed into my left shoulder.
But I was the last man left. I had to keep going. Keep firing.
That was my job.
Then I heard this huge explosion.
Next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground.
I heard footsteps and voices whispering in German,
so I lay very still and pretended that I was dead.
I tried to crawl back to our lines, but I must have fainted.
When I woke up, I heard different voices.
Voices whispering in my language.
I was safe. I had found my regiment.
Our actions that day
held the Germans back long enough for our reinforcements to arrive,
and stopped them breaking through.
And that is why His Majesty, King George V,
came today to this hospital on 25th January, 1915,
and gave me, Khudadad Khan, The Victoria Cross.
At the beginning of the war,
British soldiers were given 300g of meat
and 200g of vegetables a day, but this didn't last.
By the winter of 1916, bread was being made with dried turnips
because flour was hard to get.
Sometimes, they only had emergency rations,
which included tins of meat, cheese and Army biscuits.
Private Arthur Biggs, 31.
London Regiment. Company cook.
People say I got it easy, but I tell you, this ain't an easy job.
For a start, everybody hates us, cooks.
Some days, the men hate us more than what they do the Germans.
See, the men are supposed to get three meals every day,
whatever's going on.
Rain, ice, shells, snow, shrapnel, it don't matter,
we're still supposed to feed 'em, and that ain't easy.
Take this stuff. Brown stew, we call it.
It's been cooking for three hours.
It's got meat, onions, carrots, turnips, flour, and gravy.
Smells great. It tastes even better.
On a winter's day, you'd be happy to get a nice, hot bowl of this.
Trouble is, by the time the men get this stew, it won't be nice or hot.
Things go wrong, see? EXPLOSION
Sometimes, like now, we've got to wait,
and by the time it's safe to go forward, my stew's gone cold.
Or it gets spilt on the way and there ain't enough to go round.
Or even the Dixie lids fall off and mud gets in.
So, one way or another, my brown stew gets ruined and the men get angry.
You can't blame 'em, though.
See, I've done my bit at the front.
I know what it feels like to be in a fire trench,
feeling all cold, and wet, and scared, and sorry for yourself.
And then a pan of good, hot stew turns up and things ain't so bad.
But if the stew's cold, or there ain't enough to go round,
or it's got mud in it, you feel cheated and angry.
And that's when you have a go at the cooks.
So, no, this ain't an easy job.
This is a gas mask
and soldiers used them
so they can protect themselves from all gases.
There were three types of poison gas -
Chlorine, Phosgene and Mustard.
Some gases were used to injure rather than to kill.
Mustard gas could blind someone or cause blisters.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge
Till on the haunting flares, we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge
Men marched asleep
Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod
All went lame, all blind
Drunk with fatigue
Deaf even to the hoots of tired, outstripped Five-Nines
That fell behind
"Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!"
The Home Front was the name given to people
helping with the war back in Britain.
Lots of people worked in factories
to make things needed for the war.
Women and children did most of the jobs usually done by men.
They also worked on farms and in ammunition factories.
And Boy Scouts also volunteered to help.
Charlie Waller, age 11. Boy Scout.
I was really excited when I was old enough to join the Scouts.
My brother and three of my cousins were Scouts
and I couldn't wait to be one, too.
Most people think Scouting's just learning how to light fires
and tie knots, but there's a lot more to it than that.
Especially during a war.
Take this evening - me and another Scout
are going to guard a railway bridge just outside the town.
We have to stand there for three hours and guard it.
See, German spies could be sneaking around
and planning to blow up that bridge.
We have to be on the lookout for them.
If any German spies show up tonight, we'll spot 'em
and alert the authorities straightaway. That's our job.
But we don't just do guard duties.
We work in hospitals and on farms. We help fishermen and coastguards.
There's so many men away fighting
that they need us to help fill in the gaps.
It's a good feeling when you put on your uniform.
Makes you feel proud that you're doing something useful for the war.
Everyone in my family does something.
My mum and my sister knit socks for soldiers,
and my dad, well, he's in France.
When I'm old enough, I'll join the Army, too,
but, until then, I'll do my bit in the Scouts. Anyway...
Got a bridge to look after.
In Flanders Fields is a famous poem.
Written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.
John McCrae was a Canadian field surgeon.
He wrote the poem after his friend was killed in battle.
In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place
And in the sky, the larks, still bravely singing
Fly scarce heard amid the guns below
We are the Dead
Short days ago, we lived
Felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved
And now we lie in Flanders Fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands we throw the torch
Be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep
Though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.
Jutland Jack's full name
was John Travis Cornwall, nicknamed Jack.
In 1915, he joined the Royal Navy
when he was only 15 years old.
On 31st May, 1916, he fought in the Battle of Jutland.
This was the worst sea battle of the war.
Over 6,000 British people were killed.
Jack died whilst defending his ship and became a hero.
Lily Cornwell, 46 years old. Mother.
My boy Jack, he was wounded on 31st May, 1916.
Battle of Jutland.
It was the biggest sea battle of the war.
He died - 2nd June, 1916.
He was 16 years old. Just a boy.
We buried him at Manor Park Cemetery, here in London.
Only about five people came to the funeral.
We couldn't even afford to mark his grave. Then...
..this letter came. It was from the captain of Jack's ship.
It's the most precious thing I have. I read it to myself nearly every day.
The letter says that everyone in Jack's gun crew
had been killed or wounded, but Jack, he never moved.
It says Jack's courage was an example to everyone
cos he stayed in position.
"Standing and waiting, under heavy fire,
"with just his own brave heart and God's help to support him."
Well, the captain, he sent a report of what happened to his admiral
and the Navy decided to give him a proper funeral, with a brass band,
and full military honours. Suddenly, Jack was famous.
Jutland Jack, they called him.
And they gave him the Victoria Cross.
It is the highest medal you can get.
I had to go to Buckingham Palace and the King himself presented it to me.
And there's a photo of Jack in all the papers.
The strange thing is, it ain't him.
See, we never had no photos of Jack,
so we had to put one of his brothers in a uniform
and they photographed him instead.
So the picture of Jutland Jack in the paper, it ain't our Jack.
I don't suppose it matters, does it?
# Keep the home fires burning... #
Music was very important during the war.
Keep the Home Fires Burning was written in 1914.
-It was written by Ivor Novello.
-And Lena Guilbert Ford.
It became one of the most popular war songs.
Ivor Novello, aged 45.
Composer, actor, musician and songwriter.
I was just 21 when I wrote this, an unknown songwriter.
The war had just started and I was trying to write a song
that would cheer people up. Give them some hope.
I had this tune in my head...
..but I needed some words.
All I had was, 'Keep the Home Fires Burning'. That was it.
After that, I was stuck. Then I remembered Lena Guilbert Ford.
She was an American living in London.
Lena was always writing words for songs.
Perhaps she could come up with something? She came to my house.
She liked my tune and agreed to go home and write some words.
Two hours later, the phone rang.
Lena had written the rest of the chorus.
# There's a silver lining
# Through each dark cloud shining
# Turn the dark clouds inside out
# Till the boys come home. #
As soon as I heard Lena's words, I knew that song would catch on.
We called it 'Till the Boys Come Home.' And catch on, it did,
as if by magic.
Within days of it being first performed in London in 1914,
it was as if everyone knew it!
But, the funny thing was, people were calling it 'Home Fires,'
so we changed the title, and 'Keep the Home Fires Burning'
became one of the most famous songs of that terrible war.
I became famous, too,
but poor Lena was killed in a Zeppelin raid in 1918
and people soon forgot her.
That's unfair because without her words,
my tune would have been nothing.
They say there'll be another war now.
Perhaps we'll have to sing it again.
The Lusitania was a British passenger ship.
It sailed from New York on 1st May, 1915.
It was going to Liverpool
and had 1,962 passengers on board.
It was attacked by a German U-Boat
on 7th May, 1915.
1,202 people drowned.
This led to America joining the war to fight Germany.
Lizzie Brownlee, aged 28.
Stewardess, Second Class, The Lusitania.
I worked on the Lusitania for three years.
I loved that ship.
She was beautiful. I called her The Lucy.
In a way, she was my home.
When we sailed out of New York bound for Liverpool on 1st May,
we knew the Germans were threatening to use their U-Boat submarines
to blow up British ships,
but we weren't worried.
We were carrying passengers,
women and children,
why would they attack us?
Six days later, we were nearing the coast of Ireland, nearly home.
I was serving coffee and I heard the explosion.
You could feel the whole ship shudder
and, immediately, she started to lean.
Everyone knew what it was.
U-Boat. Torpedo. Direct hit.
Then there was a second explosion
and the ship started to lean even more,
and now people were shouting and struggling to get into the lifeboats.
I was lucky.
I got into the last lifeboat to leave the ship.
As we rowed away, I looked back.
There were still people clinging to the rails as she went down.
I said a prayer and I shut my eyes,
and when I opened them, The Lucy had gone.
It had taken 18 minutes, from start to finish.
The paper said that this might change the war.
Said that the Americans are so angry about the Lusitania
that now they might come and help us beat the Germans.
But I can't think about that.
It looks like over 1,000 people have drowned.
Men, women and children.
That's all I can think about today.
Lots of advances in medicine were made during World War I.
X-rays, antibiotics, and blood transfusions
were all first used in World War I.
Even small wounds could lead to infection or death.
If a soldier was wounded in the battlefield,
he'd first be treated in the trenches.
They were then taken to a casualty clearing area behind the lines.
Dr Henry Ernest MacFarlane.
42 years of age. Surgeon.
Just finished my first shift as a volunteer surgeon.
Only been in France three days. Got here yesterday.
I'd never even seen a field hospital before.
It's just tents in a field.
I spent most of the war in a small hospital in Brighton,
so this was a bit of a shock.
I arrived just as a big attack started.
The reception marquee was already full of injured men,
so there was no time to lose.
I just scrubbed up and got ready to work.
I'd never seen injuries like this before.
I was more used to taking out tonsils or mending the odd broken arm.
This was so different.
The work's not pretty.
Not in this war.
They say that one of the biggest killers here is septicaemia.
When men are injured in explosions or gunfire,
mud and dirt and bits of uniform get into their wounds.
They say that, often, men survive their injuries
only to die long, horrible deaths when their wounds go septic.
As surgeons, our job is to cut away
the dead and injured flesh around the wounds.
As I say, it's not pretty.
All day, the casualties kept arriving. It was hard.
I'd never seen injuries like this before,
but I knew what had to be done. We worked right through the day,
we couldn't stop to take a break or even eat.
And as it got dark, they lit lanterns
so we could keep going through the night.
Then this morning, as it got light, the guns fell silent,
the casualties stopped arriving,
and now my shift as a surgeon near the front line is over.
I know there'll be other days like this,
but this was my first...
and I'll never forget it.
Thousands of nurses worked at home and abroad during the war.
There weren't enough trained British nurses,
so lots of people volunteered.
Edith Cavell was a famous nurse
working in Brussels.
She helped soldiers escape
and saved the lives of over 200 Allied soldiers.
Edith Louisa Cavell nurse.
49 years of age.
When they come for me tomorrow morning I will be ready.
I could have been safe.
This didn't have to happen.
But when the war started, it never crossed my mind
to go home to England.
Even when Belgium was invaded and occupied by the Germans
I was determined to carry on
with my work training nurses here in Brussels.
It started when two wounded British soldiers came to our clinic.
Although I knew that anyone who tried to help them
could be arrested by the Germans and shot
I hid the two soldiers for two weeks.
And when they were ready to travel, I showed them how to escape
and find their way home.
Since then, over 60 British soldiers have come to our clinic.
I hid 'em, fed 'em, nursed 'em,
and when the time came I gave 'em money and helped 'em to escape.
When the Germans found out what I was doing, they arrested me
and brought me here to St Gilles Prison.
They questioned me, I told the truth.
I am not ashamed of what I have done.
My trial was over very quickly.
The charge - treason.
The verdict - guilty.
..death by firing squad.
In the past few days, many important people
across the world have pleaded with the Germans to spare me but...
I know those pleas will not be granted.
The Germans won't listen.
They want to make an example of someone.
I have no hope that I will be saved.
I have written my last letters
and when they come for me tomorrow morning I will be ready.
Wilfred Owen enlisted in the British Army in 1915.
He returned to England in 1917 because of shell shock.
Owen started writing poetry about the war
when he was in hospital.
His poems are now famous but they weren't at the time.
2nd Lieutenant Wilfred Edward Salter Owen. Manchester Regiment.
24 years of age. Soldier and poet.
I came here to this hospital three months ago.
They say I am suffering from shell shock.
In this war, men see such terrible things that sometimes our minds
are damaged and that's when they send us to places like this.
I'm not the only poet here. The famous poet Siegfried Sassoon
is also a patient. He has been really inspirational to me.
Sassoon says that soldier poets should write about what they know,
they should write about the war. He says it's our duty to write poems
about what we've seen to show people what war is really like.
And that's what I'm trying to do in this poem.
We'd been under enemy bombardment for eight days.
We hadn't slept for a week
and then we had to march eight miles back
in the mud and freezing rain.
I looked at the men.
They were filthy, ill, exhausted.
Some were so tired, they couldn't see properly.
And some had even fallen asleep as they marched.
When they'd come to France just a few months before,
they'd been strong, young men
and now they were old and broken.
I want my readers to see those men.
Bent double like old beggars under sacks
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge
Men marched asleep
Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod
All went lame, all blind
Drunk with fatigue.
Until they see men like that,
people will never understand what war is.
The Post Office was really important during the war...
..making sure the post was sent between the people in Britain
and those working or fighting abroad.
Over 2,500 staff handled over two billion letters...
..and 114 million parcels.
Letters and postcards from the time are a great way of finding out
what life was like then.
3792 Private Percy Bale. 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment.
29 years of age.
I'm a Post Orderly.
My job is to collect the mail from the unit post base
and carry it up the line to the men.
We use transport as far as we can but we usually have to lug the sacks
up through these supply trenches ourselves. It's hard work.
Dangerous, too. You never know what's coming over next.
It's an important job, though. They say a nice letter from home
does more for a man than a week of hot dinners.
So my job's to get this lot up there nice and safe.
This one's had a bit of a journey. Posted in Leeds on Monday.
It's been on two trains, a ship, and two lorries to get here.
Today's Wednesday so it's taken just two days to get
from the north of England to the front line here in France.
Amazing, when you think about it.
Everybody loves a parcel.
Wonder what's in it.
I reckon a pair of socks, some smokes,
couple of bars of chocolate and...
..a cake. Lucky chap, eh? Anyway...
better press on. The boys'll be waiting for this lot.
Yes, might have to go the long way round this morning.
But I'll get there. I always get there, don't I?
A Quartermaster was the officer who was responsible for supplying
the kit and equipment.
They could have been asked to supply anything.
British soldiers on the Western Front would carry
a total of 30kg of equipment.
William Stacey. Captain.
3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. 48 years old.
Been in the army 32 years now.
Worked my way up from private.
I'm a captain Quartermaster now which means I'm in charge of these.
Not just boots. Blankets, socks, gloves, sandbags,
tinned meat, cooking fuels, biscuits,
gas masks. My job's to supply the Battalion with everything it needs
to fight this war. Sometimes we turn up with the supplies and the men
are gone. They've been marched off somewhere else and we have to set off
and try and find them. Even when we do know where they are,
it's not easy getting supplies to them. The Army Service Corps
have got lorries but the Germans are always trying
to blow up the supply roads.
When that happens we have to take the stuff up on horseback
or carry it ourselves.
Trouble is everyone always wants the same thing at the same time.
If it's been raining,
they want planks of wood and sandbags to keep the trenches dry.
If there's been a cold snap, they want gloves and a blanket.
We do our best to get them what they need but we're always short
of something. Today, it's boots.
We got boots but they're all size 12s.
If you've got normal-sized feet, you stand no chance of getting
a new pair of boots even if the ones you're wearing are falling to bits.
Anyhow, maybe next week those size 8 boots'll arrive.
If they do, I'll do my best to get them to our men,
wherever they are by then.
Remembrance is when you remember people from the war who fought
for our country.
It's important to remember them because they fought
for our country to keep it safe.
I'm really proud of one of my relatives
who gave their life for me.
He was in the Royal Fusiliers and he was called James Harlin.
These are my great-great uncle's medals
and he got one of them for a Victory medal,
and the second one was 1914-1915,
and this one was for fighting in the trenches abroad.
Remembrance Day is on 11th November
and that's where we have two minutes of silence.
It's important because if you don't, it's not really respectful
cos they fought for our country
but you're not really saying thank you back.
I think it's important because if you didn't,
you might just forget and then that would be sad.
The royal family go and lay wreaths and the Queen
has two minutes of silence to remember that she wouldn't
be the Queen of this country if those people had not fought
to keep our country the way it is.
Poppies are important because they grow in Flanders Fields
where one of the biggest battles was.
When I have the two minutes' silence, I feel happy
because I remember them, but sad because they died.
The soldiers wore these to protect themselves from shrapnel.
Shrapnel shells were the most common type of weapon used
in World War I.
Shrapnel caused terrible injuries on the front line
and the men would be treated by surgeons.
Elsie Inglis was a woman surgeon
who had to operate on lots of shrapnel injuries.
Elsie Inglis. Aged 53. Doctor and surgeon.
Many people back home in Britain are still surprised
to see a woman doctor. But if they could see me
here now, a woman surgeon in a field hospital removing shrapnel
from the leg of a Serbian soldier, they would truly be shocked.
But, in fact, there are hundreds of British women
working in field hospitals all over Europe.
Some are nurses, some are doctors, and some, like me, are surgeons.
But it wasn't easy to get here.
When the war started, I went to the War Office in Edinburgh
and offered to set up a team of women doctors and nurses
who would go to any country where they were needed.
The officer in charge laughed at me and said, "My good lady,
"go home and sit still."
Well, I did not go home and I certainly did not sit still.
Instead, I helped to set up
the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service - the SWH.
The British Army had turned down my idea
but other countries were desperate for help.
So our SWH teams set off for the battlefields of Europe.
Here in Serbia, we don't just deal with war injuries.
We are also fighting horrible diseases like typhus and dysentery.
The women in our teams have seen some terrible things.
Some have become wounded themselves.
Some have been captured by the enemy, and some have died.
But they never give up.
They never complain.
Whatever comes their way -
bullets, disease, shrapnel - they carry on and cope.
But now that we have shown some courage in wartime
perhaps when peace comes, they'll at last let women vote!
Trenches were dug to protect soldiers
from bullets and artillery fire from the other side.
Trenches formed the front line.
And the space in-between was called no-man's-land.
A trench was usually 2m deep and 2m wide.
They were very unhygienic, with rats, lice and dead bodies.
4927 Private William Short. 12th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. Aged 18.
"Dear Ma, just a quick note to tell you that all is well.
"I am in a front line trench which is..."
Which is a horrible stinking mess, to be honest.
But you can't tell your mother that, can you?
We're normally up here in a front line trench
for about four days at a time.
We call it a fire trench cos from here we can fire at the enemy.
They're not far away.
We can hear them.
Getting shouted at by the corporals. Just like us.
I bet their trench smells like ours, too.
We haven't had a bath for weeks.
"We have plenty to do here, Mum, and life is very interesting..."
Actually, life in a fire trench is very boring.
Mostly, we just wait, watch, listen, get ready, get bored.
Then it's inspection and duties.
Filling sandbags, repairing duckboards,
digging trenches, pumping water,
sentry duty, and cleaning our rifles.
Like I say, boring.
"Today, the weather is fine but yesterday was a bit damp."
Yesterday, it rained for 12 hours.
This trench filled up and by tea-time we were up to our knees in water.
Standing in water all night - feels like your feet are rotting.
Tomorrow, we're going back down the line for some rest.
Get these stinking clothes off.
Maybe have a bath.
Hasn't been too bad up here this time.
No whizz-bangs. No attacks. No gas.
"Anyway, all for now, Ma. Hope you are well. Your loving son, Billy."
Yeah, we've been really lucky...
Animals were very important in the war.
-Horses were used as transport.
-And to pull heavy machinery and weaponry.
Over eight million horses died during the war.
Pigeons were used to send messages between troops.
Dogs were used to sniff out gas attacks and to pull machinery.
Also to send messages across no-man's-land.
Stubby. Dog. Boston Bull Terrier. Three years old.
The most famous dog in the whole of America.
The only dog who made it to sergeant in the US Army.
Yeah. Sergeant Stubby, that's my full name.
I was a stray when Corporal Robert Conroy found me.
He called me Stubby and liked me so much
that when he was sent to France to fight the Germans,
he took me with him.
Smuggled me onto the ship in a big wooden box.
That's how I ended up in the middle of war and got to be a hero.
Yeah, that's right! I got to be a war hero.
And if you don't believe me, look at this coat they made me.
See all these medals pinned on it? I won them fair and square.
So, you're thinking how does a dog win medals in a war?
I'll tell you how!
We dogs got good noses, see, and if the Germans let off gas I'd smell it
long before the soldiers would.
First sniff of gas and I'd go crazy, jumping up and down and barking,
and they'd know it was time to put their masks on.
They said I saved a lot of lives that way.
Got another medal for finding wounded soldiers.
I could sniff 'em out, see.
Even in the dark, I could find people.
And then I'd bark to let the stretcher bearers know where to come.
I was in 17 different battles in France
and I got wounded one time myself.
Shrapnel from a grenade hit my front leg
and that's when they made me a sergeant.
And that's why I'm famous.
The war's over now but everyone's heard of Sergeant Stubby.
MUSIC: "Rule, Britannia"
The war ended at 11am on 11th November 1918.
Germany and the Allies signed the agreement to end the war
at a secret location in France.
An agreement called the Armistice was signed at 5am.
This day is now called Victory Day.
Maude Alice Mary Thompson, schoolgirl, aged 11.
Yesterday was the most exciting day of my whole life.
I wish I could wind the clock back and live it all over again.
At about 11 o'clock in the morning, we heard explosions.
Guns firing. Big guns.
Father said the guns meant the war had finished.
"Get your coat," he said. "We're going out."
Next minute, I was running down the street holding Father's hand.
We jumped on a tram and headed down Hampstead Road.
We passed thousands of people carrying flags and ribbons,
all walking south towards the city.
I held tightly onto Father's hand but it wasn't frightening.
It was exciting. On the Strand, a man was selling flags
and father bought me this.
You should have heard the noise!
A brass band was playing and bells were ringing.
People were setting off firecrackers,
and cheering, and singing, and stamping their feet.
At Buckingham Palace, we saw thousands of people
all looking up at the royal balcony.
"We want the King," we chanted. "We want the King."
And then there he was! The King! I could see him with my own eyes!
He was standing on the balcony with the Queen.
Then a band played "Rule Britannia"
and we all sang as loudly as we could. It was wonderful.
During the war, women would do jobs that men normally would have done.
This included jobs in farming,
nursing, transport, and making weapons.
By 1918, 90% of shells used in the war were made by women.
A million women worked in munitions factories.
By the end of the war, over one million shells a week
were fired by Britain so it was important work.
Ida Petch. Munitions worker. Aged 22.
I'm about to have me checkup with the doctor.
They call us Canary Girls.
That's cos if you work here
weighing explosives and filling shells for the war,
your skin changes colour and you end up all yellow...
like a canary.
It don't bother me, though. I've been here two years now
so I'm used to being yellow.
You got to be careful working with explosives.
No metal is allowed in the factory.
We're not allowed rings, hairpins, buttons.
Nothing that could make a spark.
Weighing chemicals, packing shells, it isn't a nice job.
See, the stuff we work with here is poisonous.
Not good for you.
In the weighing rooms, the air makes you sneeze
and you get this horrible taste at the back of your throat.
You get chest pains, you feel sick, your skin goes scabby.
That's why we have checkups with the doctor.
So, why do we do it? Why work 12 hours a day, seven days a week
if it's so horrible?
First reason's money.
I earn ten times more in here than I did when I was a chambermaid.
Not many men earn what we do.
We don't have to ask our dads or husbands
if we want new shoes or a hat.
If we want new shoes or hats, we buy our own.
I like that feeling.
I tell you, when this war's over, I won't ever be a chambermaid again.
Then there's the other reason we work here.
They say our shells are winning the war.
Well, I've got two brothers at the front.
All us canary girls have brothers, boyfriends, husbands at the front.
Sooner we win the war, sooner our boys come home.
Many people believed that the war would be over by Christmas 1914.
But they were wrong.
In 1914, the British troops were given a gift box
from the Princess Mary Gift Fund.
On December 24th 1914, there was also an unofficial truce
between some German and British soldiers in the trenches near Ypres.
Harry Southern. Schoolteacher. 42 years of age.
See this brass tin?
I got this Christmas Day, 1914.
I wasn't a teacher then.
In 1914, I was a private in the army
and on Christmas Day I was in a trench near the front line in France.
Every soldier got one of these as a present from Princess Mary.
It was a funny Christmas.
Christmas Eve, it all went quiet
and we heard this voice singing in German. "Stille Nacht."
We knew the tune - Silent Night. So we joined in.
It was lovely. English and German voices singing together in the dark.
The next morning, a German climbed out of his trench,
put his hands in the air and shouted, "Happy Christmas."
Then more Germans followed him.
They were all smiling and laughing, so we got out of our trench, too.
We met up in the middle and shook hands and then the fun started.
The Germans had brought all sorts of stuff to share - brandy and cigars.
So we did the same. We gave them whisky and Christmas pudding.
We got out an old tin can and had a kick about.
Must have looked strange.
Hundreds of men - us in khaki, them in grey -
hacking away at an old tin can with our old army boots.
Then it got dark and we said goodbye.
A German pulled a button off his coat and gave it to me.
So I cut a button off my coat and gave it to him.
We shook hands and that was it.
Christmas Day 1914.
I've looked after this tin all these years.
It was the only present I got that Christmas.
It wasn't much, but it meant a lot to me.
Your Country Needs You is a famous propaganda image.
Propaganda was used to get men to fight for their country.
It was also used to get people to hate the Germans.
A lot of German people who lived in Britain
were put into internment camps.
Friedrich Gerhard Muller. 42 years of age.
Prisoner in Knockaloe Internment Camp.
Here, I pass the time painting - but I used to be a baker.
I'm not good at painting but I was a good baker.
People used to come to my shop from all over London.
I was born in Germany but my father came to London in 1887
to open a bakery.
When I grew up I took over the business,
married an English woman and had two children.
Britain was my home.
When the war started, this picture ended up everywhere -
Lord Kitchener, pointing his finger saying, "Your country needs you."
I thought he was pointing at me.
Stories and rumours about the Germans started to go round.
They said, "The Germans are Huns - cruel, ruthless barbarians.
"They murder women and babies."
People started to believe that these lies were true
and stopped coming to my shop.
They preferred to buy their bread from bakers with British names.
Then, in May 1915, when a German U-boat sunk the Lusitania,
things got even worse.
People smashed my shop window and boys threw stones at my son.
They called him a "filthy German."
Two days later, along with thousands of other Germans, I was arrested.
They said we'd be taken to Knockaloe.
As they marched us to the station,
people shouted, "Murderer, baby-killer, Hun."
Some people even spat at us as we passed.
This was my city.
These people were my neighbours, my customers, my friends.
I have been in Knockaloe for three years.
I don't know where I'll go when the war is over.
I used to think Britain was my country, but it isn't.
When Kitchener pointed his finger, he didn't mean me.
My country didn't need me.
World War I was the first war where civilians were attacked
from the air...
..By aeroplanes and airships known as Zeppelins.
German Zeppelins first appeared over Britain in January 1915.
More than 1,400 people were killed.
And lots of damage to buildings and homes.
Stanley Joseph Grimes. Aged ten.
I've seen loads of Zeppelins.
They often pass over here when they're going to bomb London.
I don't like 'em.
They're huge, grey balloons which drop bombs and kill people.
It was about two in the morning.
My dad woke me up and told me to get dressed and come downstairs.
There were lots of people in the field behind our house
staring up at the sky.
We could see a Zeppelin lit up by the searchlights
moving through the clouds.
Then we heard the engines of an aeroplane.
For a while, nothing happened.
Then we saw a glow which slowly seemed to spread.
Then suddenly the whole sky was lit up by a huge ball of fire.
People started shouting and cheering
cos the Zeppelin was in flames and coming down.
It crashed near Cuffley about six miles from here
and the next morning we went to see the wreckage.
The Zeppelin had broken into thousands of pieces.
People were picking up bits of metal to keep as souvenirs.
That's how I got this.
Later, we heard the full story.
A pilot called Lieutenant Leefe-Robinson had flown up there
in the dark and he'd fired three drums of machine gun bullets at it.
The first one to be shot down, and I saw it happen.
Shows you Zeppelins can be beaten.
I still don't like 'em, but I don't have nightmares any more.