I Was There: The Great War Interviews (2014)


In the early 1960s, the BBC interviewed 280 eyewitnesses of the First World War for the series, The Great War (1964).


Using never before seen interview footage with soldiers and civilians, the film illuminates the personal experience of the Great War, through the eyes of those who survived it.

In the early 1960s, the BBC interviewed 280 eye-witnesses of the First World War for the landmark series, ‘The Great War‘.

But only a tiny fraction of the recorded interviews made it to air.

The film negatives were preserved by the Imperial War Museum and fifty years after they were filmed, this documentary presents a selection of the original interview material. Most of it has never been broadcast before.

The film is a tribute to the human face of war – from the horrors of artillery bombardment and the anguish of young men forced to become killers, to fleeting outbreaks of peace on the battlefield, and the heart-breaking stories of the women on the home front who feared for those closest to them.


The director, Detlef Siebert, wrote a blog on the background to the documentary which can be found here (BBC Blog).

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Detlef Siebert.
  • Producer(s):
    • Mike Connolly.
    • Sandra Gorel.
    • Detlef Siebert.
  • Music:
    • Dominic de Grande.
  • Cinematography:
    • Mike Garner and Seamus McCracken.
  • Editor(s):
    • Detlef Siebert.
  • Production:
    • BBC.
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC 2 (Original Network).
  • Release Date: 14 March 2014.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Video Link


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