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Stephen Fisher

BBC The Great War / The Great War Interviews

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Stephen Fisher

Hi all,

 

Apologies, this probably isn't the correct forum category, but it seemed the best one from the list. Feel free to move it if there's somewhere more appropriate.

 

I'm doing a bit of research for an American friend, whose grandfather was interviewed by the BBC in the early 1960s about his experiences in the First World War. It may well have been for The Great War series, and many of these interviews have now been re-released as The Great War Interviews for the centenary.

 

Apparently some 280 people were interviewed in the making of the original series, but I've hit a bit of a blank finding a list of all those people. Before I try and find someone in the BBC who may be able to help, I thought I'd ask if anyone here might know of a 'master list' of interviewees.

 

Many thanks,

Steve

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voltaire60

 A good place to start would be the British Film Institute- have a look at their website. They hold the British Film and Television Archive, which may have the answer to your questions.  Contact them and ask-their researchers and archivists are very good indeed and very helpful.

 

      The BBC has very good archives and will have ,of course, the film interviews. In addition they will have the paperwork for the series-the Beeb is quite obsessive about keeping paperwork but it's archives don't seem to get used extensively and have undergone some changes in recent years. Search on BBC archives on Mr. Google's Apparatus and you should be rewarded.

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BillyH

A name would be very handy!

 

BillyH.

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Chris_B
Posted (edited)

Some background on the interviews, which was a BBC and IWM combined effort    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/entries/80a43bad-458d-3e19-8a3d-3aa2d92abe9d  & http://www.bbc.co.uk/informationandarchives/archivenews/2014/restoring-archive-for-greatwar-interviews.html

 

Anything said by Julia Cave who conducted most of the interviews for the Great War series might be worth tracking down.  IIRC only a small fraction of the 280 interviews were usable and made it to air.  Just 13 can be viewed on BBC iplayer ( not outside the UK) https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/group/p01tbj6p

 

Previous thread: 

 

Edited by Chris_B

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Private Baldrick
On ‎12‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 09:51, Stephen Fisher said:

I'm doing a bit of research for an American friend, whose grandfather was interviewed by the BBC in the early 1960s about his experiences in the First World War. It may well have been for The Great War series, and many of these interviews have now been re-released as The Great War Interviews for the centenary.

 

Apparently some 280 people were interviewed in the making of the original series, but I've hit a bit of a blank finding a list of all those people. Before I try and find someone in the BBC who may be able to help, I thought I'd ask if anyone here might know of a 'master list' of interviewees.

 

The Imperial War Museum seems to have almost all of the interviews that were recorded for the 1964 documentary "The Great War" in their collection. If you filter their website to display BBC sound recording that relate to the First World War (see weblink below), you can find the names of the interviewees amongst the results. 

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search?query=&pageSize=60&filters[webCategory][sound]=on&filters[periodString][First World War]=on&filters[makerString][BBC]=on

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Chris_Baker
Posted (edited)

Who are we talking about? I've probably got copies of any of correspondence in which he is featured. I think I have been through them all during the work I did for the programme and for the BBC website since then. There is some at IWM but most is not in the public domain, being held at the BBC Archive.

 

 

Edited by Chris_Baker

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voltaire60
4 hours ago, Chris_Baker said:

Who are we talking about? I've probably got copies of any of correspondence in which he is featured. I think I have been through them all during the work I did for the programme and for the BBC website since then. There is some at IWM but most is not in the public domain, being held at the BBC Archive.

 

 

 

     Chris- would you have any knowledge of what the BBC Archive  contains on this?

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Chris_Baker

Yes, I have handled it all. The main collection as far as Great War info is concerned contains the correspondence between the Beeb and the interviewee. This is before and after the interview. Then there are the interview notes and (to some small extent) transcripts of the interviews. Access is restricted. I only got to see it all as I was engaged by the Beeb as part of the production process. The archive also holds the image and sound recordings, but I have not seen them.

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Stephen Fisher

Hello all,

 

Apologies for my lamentably slow replies, as I was away for a while. Thank you for all the input so far, I'll definitely follow up the leads in the early posts and do some more digging.

 

On 26/05/2018 at 09:11, Chris_Baker said:

Who are we talking about? I've probably got copies of any of correspondence in which he is featured. I think I have been through them all during the work I did for the programme and for the BBC website since then. There is some at IWM but most is not in the public domain, being held at the BBC Archive.

 

 

 

Chris, thanks for this. The gent's name was William T Pagen. As a corporal in the US Second Regiment of Engineers, he was awarded the Silver Star for actions near St Etienne-a-Arnes on the 9th October 1918, when he exposed himself to shellfire to rescue a wounded man. He later became a sergeant major, was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French and fought at Belleau Wood, Chateaux Thierry and Soissons. His service number appears to have been No. 156515.

 

All his son can recall is that in the late fifties (he thinks, possibly later and perhaps early sixties), he gave the BBC an interview about his experiences in the war. To me the only likely contender is the Great War series, but I suppose there may possibly be another programme it could have been recorded for?

 

Any help is much appreciated.

Cheers,

Steve

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