AHRC World War One at Home and VE Day

Specialist national consultant: Prof. Jane Chapman

Arts and Humanities Research Council Funded Project

Logo for the Arts and Humanities Research Council

FWW soldier smoking pipe

The BBC Project World War One at Home tells the story of the First World War through the people whose lives were transformed – in their homes, schools, churches, theatres, streets and factories. Professor Jane Chapman was initially selected by the AHRC as one of 19 experts from around the UK to advise broadcast journalists in each BBC region. She was subsequently asked to become a national consultant for the project and is currently advising on VE Day for BBC programming.

As regional advisor Professor Chapman worked with BBC teams in the East of England to source, select and present over 120 Home Front stories highlighting the war’s impact on the region. Links with broader national and international events and themes were also emphasized. Stories ranged from that of children in Norfolk collecting conkers for their cordite (a vital compound used for small arms and artillery) to anti-German riots in Peterborough and a zeppelin being shot down in Suffolk. The narratives, broadcast regionally and nationally throughout 2014 and into 2015, have become part of an inter-active online map and ‘tour’ of the UK.

Find local stories at BBC World War One at Home

BBC WW1 at Home roadshow

Professor Chapman also participated in numerous BBC roadshows, each reaching between 10,000 and 20,000 people, and at other public events in Lincolnshire and Cambridge, throughout 2014, giving over 30 talks on the specialist subject of soldiers’ trench cartoons.

BBC roadshows

Rationing, queues and school dinners – blog post by Prof. Jane Chapman

Additional research was provided by Dan Ellin. View his blog posts at Beyond the Trenches

FWW aircraft factory workers

Image from John Wallis and Charles Parker, ‘Aircraft made in Lincoln’ (Lincoln: SLHA, 2000).

 VE Day

Prof. Chapman and her researchers also recently provided regional BBC radio stations with information for stories on VE Day celebrations in Derbyshire, East Staffordshire and Cambridgeshire in 1945, as well as research for a BBC Look North TV documentary.