First World War stories on Radio One

Fifty years ago, CBC Radio devoted 17 hours to the voices and stories of the men who fought in the First World War. This summer, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, documentary producer Steve Wadhams and host Beza Seife bring those voices and stories back to life in The Bugle and the Passing Bell, a 10 part series that explores the conflict from the point-of-view of the soldiers themselves.

August 4, 1914, Canada enters World War One

When Canada's volunteer soldiers signed up to serve in World War One, many of them felt energized to serve for the British Empire. And they couldn't imagine the horror and death they were about to face. The video below features some of their thoughts, before they boarded ships with their guns and horses to fight the army of the German Kaiser.

The voices in the video belong to the following soldiers:

1. "I was at that time in Western Canada..." - G.R. Stevens PPCLI (Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry)

2. "I happened to ride into town..." - F.G. Layton LSHG (Lake Superior Horse Guards)

3. "I was one of the original 88..." - F.Dawson of 7th Battalion

4. "It seemed to be spontaneous..." - E.J.Owens of 2nd Battalion

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Other Radio One programs are also marking this anniversary, and we've listed some highlights below.


Q - Comic writer Pat Mills & historian Robert Fisk

On the 100th anniversary of WWI, Q looks at how the trauma of that war affected us culturally and individually. 

Jian Ghomeshi talks to Pat Mills, comic writer and author of the celebrated U.K. comic Charley's War, about how we look to that horrific first war for our visual imagery of a future apocalypse and Phil Klay, author and Iraq war vet, on how writing on the war changed our notion of the soldier and his experience.

Also, Jian talks to award-winning journalist and historian Robert Fisk about the trauma that reverberated throughout his family's life. (His father served in WW1.)


The Current - Blood, Blunder and Valour: Canada and the world go to war

Host Anna Maria Tremonti convenes a panel of three historians: Thomas Otte, Professor of History at the University of East Anglia, Tim Cook, historian with the Canadian War Museum and Jennifer Jenkins, Associate Professor of German and European History and a historian of German foreign policy at the University of Toronto to speak about the war and how it changed each country.