A UNIVERSITY of Worcester lecturer has played a major part in a BBC radio series marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Professor Maggie Andrews acted as historical advisor for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Home Front’, which will run over the next four years.
With 600 episodes, it is one of the largest ever radio drama commissions and will play a central role in the BBC’s First World War commemorations, with each episode set exactly 100 years before the day of broadcast.
The first season, set in Folkestone, begins on August 4 and covers the outbreak of the war.
Future seasons will be set in other locations throughout the country and cover several major strands of the Home Front experience including stories of love, loss, social change and the evolution from a gung-ho to a war-weary nation.
“The drama gives a sense of some of the changes to everyday life on the Home Front caused by the First World War," said Professor Andrews.
“The drama series format enables the very varied experiences and reactions of war to be portrayed, providing some of the human stories behind the headlines but also how factors such as class, gender, age, marital status and the region in which someone lived would lead to very different reactions and responses to the disruption brought about by war.
“Of course, this is a fictional drama, but it is informed by historical research and many of the stories are inspired by genuine happenings in Folkestone, where the first series is set.
"The production team have included many little-known experiences of war and avoided some of more dubious myths.”
Professor Andrews, a Professor of Cultural History at the University, is recognised as one of the country’s leading cultural history academics, and is also one of the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded West Midlands advisors for the BBC’s World War One at Home project.
She is also an investigator on the First World War Hub Voices of War and Peace project and more details can be found at voicesofwarandpeace.org.
She has also co-written ‘Voices of the First World War: Worcestershire’s War’ - which is due out in September and will provide an insight into how the conflict affected people in the county.