Home Front is a ground-breaking new radio drama – it’s the biggest ever at around 600 episodes running for four years – set in Britain during the Great War.
Home Front writers include Katie Hims, Sean Moffatt, Shaun McKenna, Sebastian Baczkiewicz, Richard Monks and Sarah Daniels.
An enthralling fiction, set against a backdrop of fact. Each episode is set a hundred years to the day before broadcast, and follows one character’s day. Together they create a mosaic of experience from a wide cross-section of British society, and a playful treasure hunt, with at least one historical truth hidden in each story.
The first series is set in Folkestone, a fashionable Edwardian seaside resort that quickly became one of the hubs of the military machine, and close enough to France to hear the fighting. Future seasons will be set in Newcastle and Devon, telling the major stories of wartime Britain.
Marking major and minor events of the time, Home Front charts the strategies that ordinary people found for managing life in wartime, and how, together, they ensured that the Home Front didn’t break down.
To compliment this series go to Tommies on Drama Page 77 and 1914: Day to Day in Of Interest: History 1914: Day to Day.
01: 4-8 August 1914: By Katie Hims.
Folkestone comes to terms with being at the hub of Britain’s war effort.
02: 11-15 August 1914: By Katie Hims & Sean Moffatt.
As Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary, Folkestone tries to rally flagging tourism whilst waving local troops off to the front.
03: 18-22 August 1914: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Folkestone welcomes the first wave of Belgian refugees, fleeing the war.
04: 25-29 August 1914: By Shaun McKenna.
With the first war-wounded arriving home through Folkestone, the locals attempt to boost morale with a fundraising event.
05: 1-5 September 1914: By Shaun McKenna.
The country enters its second month at war, and the White Feather Movement begins in earnest.
06: 8-12 September 1914: By Sarah Daniels.
Folkestone holds its annual regatta and Dieter’s safety is threatened…
07: 15-19 September 1914: By Sarah Daniels.
Folkestone honours its dead, and our characters’ worlds all seem up-ended.
08: 22-26 September 1914: By Katie Hims & Sean Moffatt.
Well-known suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst visits Folkestone and on the Leas, an amicable alliance is reached.
09: 29 Sept-3 Oct 1914: By Katie Hims.
As recruitment figures begin to dip, the people of Folkestone are under pressure to do more for the war effort.
10: 1-5 December 1914: By Sarah Daniels.
Everyone is looking to do their bit for the war effort.
11: 8-12 December 1914: By Sarah Daniels.
Newcomers spell trouble for St Jude’s and the police are unprepared for a crime wave.
12: 15-19 December 1914: By Shaun McKenna.
As Christmas approaches, a spirit of generosity and recklessness fills the air, as all Folkestone is encouraged to give themselves to the war.
13: 22-26 December 1914: By Shaun McKenna.
The Grahams host a family Christmas and Folkestone’s yuletide festivities don’t go entirely to plan.
14: 29 Dec 14 – 2 Jan 15 1915: By Katie Hims.
Folkestone moves from 1914, with all its hope and fear, into 1915.
15: 5-9 January 1915: By Katie Hims.
Folkestone mourns the loss of one of its missing and The Grahams await a special delivery.
16: 2-6 February 1915: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Our focus shifts to industrial Tynemouth, experiencing a quite different war from that felt in Folkestone.
17: 9-13 February 1915: By Shaun McKenna.
The Mayor of Tynemouth honours the first local soldier to be awarded a V.C and Edie shares the town’s excitement.
18: 16-20 February 1915: By Melissa Murray.
The country may be at war, and the factories at peak production, but there’s time for romance in industrial Tynemouth
19: 23-27 February 1915: By Melissa Murray.
The country may be at war, and the factories at peak production, but there’s time for romance in industrial Tynemouth.
20: 2-6 March 1915: By Richard Monks.
Germany declare a submarine blockage of Great Britain, and – for reasons of their own – our characters begin to feel hemmed in.
21: 9-13 March 1915: By Richard Monks.
The Battle of Neuve Chapelle drew to a close while the men at Marshalls are spoiling for a fight.
22: 16-20 March 1915: By Sarah Daniels.
A week of discoveries, and some exotic flotsam that washes up on Long Sands.
23: 23-27 March 1915: By Sarah Daniels.
Amid appeals for more women to join the workforce, Marshalls loses two of its best employees.
24: 25-29 May 1915: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. The Canadians have arrived in Folkestone, and so have the profiteers.
25: 1-5 June 1915: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. Folkestone are making the most of the influx of Canadian troops.
26: 8-12 June 1915: By Shaun McKenna. Thornton can charm the birds out of the trees, and the money out of Canadian pockets.
27: 15-19 June 1915: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz & Georgia Fitch. The Graham household is in chaos and not expecting visitors.
28: 22-26 June 1915: By Georgia Fitch. A week of secrets and lies.
29: 29 June to 3 July 1915: By Sarah Daniels. Canadian. Troops celebrated their Dominion Day and a long awaited reunion is planned.
30: 6-10 July 1915: By Richard Monks. Soldiers home on leave find home so different to the one they thought they were fighting for.
31: 13-17 July 1915: By Richard Monks. A wartime celebrity makes an unexpected visit to Folkestone.
32: 7-11 September 1915:By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. The population is beginning to open up to thoughts of the hereafter.
33: 14-18 September 1915: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. A week of evasions, diversions and new arrivals.
34: 21-25 September 1915: By Katie Hims. Folkestone seems to be poisoned by the war.
35: 28 September – 2 October 1915: By Sarah Daniels. A week that the Wilson family could never have dreamed of.
36: 5-9 October 1915: By Sarah Daniels. Individual losses in Folkestone increasingly fuelled an interest in spiritualism.
37: 12-16 October 1915: By Sarah Daniels. When the dead seem more present than ever.
38: 19-23 October 1915: By Richard Monks. Crises lead to drastic actions and Russia and Italy declare war on Bulgaria.
39: 26-30 October 1915: By Richard Monks. Folkestone’s most respected medium is troubled by a new and insistent spirit.
40: 21-25 December 1915: By Richard Monks. In the week following a massive landslide at the Warren, just east of Folkestone, the townsfolk are preparing for Christmas.
41: 28 December 1915 – 1 January 1916: By Richard Monks. The Home Secretary resigns over the Compulsory Military Service Bill, the Bevan Hospital celebrates the new year.
42: 4-8 January 1916: By Mike Walker. When compulsory Military service became almost inevitable, the Bevan hospital becomes a welcome alternative to home for Dorothea.
43: 11-15 January 1916: By Sarah Daniels. Welsh and Scottish Trades Unions vote to oppose conscription, there’s pressure at the Bevan to return more wounded men to duty.
44: 18-22 January 1916: By Sarah Daniels. The first concerted attempt to break the Siege of Kut, Folkestone’s characters are all looking for release.
45: 25-29 January 1916: By Claudine Toutoungi. President Woodrow Wilson declares “The world is on fire, and sparks are likely to drop anywhere”, pressures begin to tell at the Bevan hospital too.
46: 1-5 February 1916: By Shaun McKenna. Britain suffers the worst zeppelin raid thus far in the war, all of Folkestone is jumpy.
47: 8-12 February 1916: By Shaun McKenna. Conscription comes into effect. There are secrets and celebrations in Folkestone.
48: 4-8 April 1916: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. As a Zeppelin raid drops bombs on the North East coast, old feuds are reignited in Ashburton.
49: 11-15 April 1916: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. Reports reach Britain of a million Armenians massacred, and the community in Ashburton find their world rocked by surprises.
50: 18-22 April 1916: By Lucy Catherine. British naval patrol intercepts Sir Roger Casement bringing munitions to Ireland. While alliances are broken and made in Ashburton.
51: 25-29 April 1916: By Lucy Catherine. General Townshend surrenders, ending the Siege of Kut al Amara, and there are calls to courage throughout the social scale in Ashburton.
52: 2-6 May 1916: By Shaun McKenna. While cheers meet the announcement in Parliament that three Irish rebel leaders have been executed, it’s a week of collisions in Ashburton.
53: 9-13 May 1916: By Sarah Daniels. The Teachers Association strongly condemn the encouragement of child labour to replace conscripted men. And much of the Ashburton community is on a steep learning curve.
54: 16-20 May 1916: By Richard Monks. When unified Russian and British forces drove the Turks from the banks of the Tigris, sands are shifting in Ashburton.
55: 23-27 May 1916: By Richard Monks. While President Wilson advocates the formation of an Association of Nations to ensure future peace, relations in Ashburton are very troubled.
56: 8-12 August 1916: By Sarah Daniels.
The Battle of the Somme set box offices records for British cinema, extraordinary good fortune disrupts the lives of the Graham household.
57: 15-19 August 1916: By Katie Hims.
The King praised the “cheerful confidence” of the troops in France, courage and hope are hard-won in Folkestone.
58: 22-26 August 1916: By Katie Hims.
The East and South East coasts were terrorised by air raids, Folkestone seems brim-full of secrets and lies.
59: 29 August – 2 September 1916: By Shaun McKenna.
The Battle of Verdun finally came to a close, emotions are volatile in Folkestone.
60: 5-9 September 1916: By Shaun McKenna.
Ambulance driver Dorothie Feilding was the first woman to be awarded a Military Medal, there are some lesser but notable firsts in Folkestone.
61: 12-16 September 1916: By Mike Walker.
Tanks were deployed for the first time with great optimism, it’s a week of decisive action in Folkestone.
62: 19-23 September 1916: By Mike Walker.
People began to believe that the latest innovation – tanks, might end the war, the people of Folkestone find new life, new death, and new love.
63: 26-30 September 1916: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Lloyd George declared ‘there is no end of the war in sight’, in Folkestone it’s a week of parting, and small miracles.
64: 12-16 December 1916: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Germany offered peace terms to the Allies via neutral America, there are new and rekindled alliances in Tynemouth.
65: 19-23 December 1916: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Debate raged nationally over the treatment of foreign workers, there’s unrest throughout Tyneside.
66: 26-30 December 1916: By Shaun McKenna.
Germany’s peace offer was rejected by the Allies, Christmas week still brings some festive cheer to Tynemouth.
67: 2-6 January 1917: By Claudine Toutoungi.
The Newcastle Journal published a glowing report on the improved conditions at munitions factories, Marshalls Factory tells the other side of the story.
68: 9-13 January 1917: By Claudine Toutoungi.
Sylvia Pankhurst was threatened with libel for reporting the conditions of female munitions workers, emotions run high for those remaining at Marshall’s factory.
69: 16-20 January 1917: By Jessica Dromgoole.
A munitions factory explosion in Silvertown, East London, killed 73 workers, and damaged 70,000 properties, the aftereffects of the Marshalls factory explosion are still rippling through every level of people’s lives in Tyneside.
70: 23-27 January 1917: By Katie Hims.
The national press reported extensively on an explosion at an East London munitions factory, in Tynemouth, the workers are yet to have their story told.
71: 30 January-3 February 1917: By Katie Hims.
America formally broke diplomatic relations with Germany, and in Tynemouth, people are making small steps forwards.
72: 17-21 April 1917: By Shaun McKenna.
The Chinese Labour Corps set up camp in Folkestone.
73: 24-28 April 1917: By Shaun McKenna.
The Food Controller’s Wheat, Rye and Rice Restriction Order came into effect.
74: 1-5 May 1917: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
The Archbishop of Canterbury warned, “when we come out of this war, we mean to come out with clean hands”..
75: 8-12 May 1917: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
The Stockholm Conference refused entry to anyone on the side of the German Imperialists
76: 15-19 May 1917: By Sarah Daniels.
Sugar queues were reported in London, with supplies believed to be at their lowest yet.
77: 22-26 May 1917: By Sarah Daniels.
Britain suffered its first ever airplane bombing raid.
78: 29 May – 2 June 1917: By Katie Hims.
Set in the week in 1917 when the death toll from the Folkestone air raid reached 72.
79: 5-9 June 1917: By Katie Hims.
The biggest man-made explosion in history removed Messines Ridge.
80: 31 July – 4 August 1917: By Katie Hims.
The battle of Passchendaele began.
81: 7-11 August 1917: By Katie Hims.
The people of Folkestone watch 40 British planes encircle enemy aircraft over the channel.
82: 14-18 August 1917: By Katie Hims.
Poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon met in Craiglockhart Hospital.
83: 21-25 August 1917: By Mike Walker.
The French Army regained territory in a new offensive at Verdun.
84: 28 August – 1 September 1917: By Mike Walker.
Severe gales across the country uproot trees and damage crops.
85: 4-8 September 1917: By Sarah Daniels.
The entire French cabinet resigned over widespread army mutinies.
86: 11-15 September 1917: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Kerensky’s provisional government proclaimed a Russian republic following Kornilov’s failed coup.
87: 18-22 September 1917: By Katie Hims.
The National Health Insurance Commission recommended free treatment for all invalided soldiers and sailors, and in Folkestone, Dorothea prepares for her first day back at the Bevan hospital.
88: 13-17 November 1917: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Giddy with Possibility, set in Tynemouth, in the week, in 1917, when the Finnish Parliament declared their independence from Russia.
89: 20-24 November 1917: By Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
The Battle of Cambrai marked the first mass use of tanks.
90: 27 November 1 December 1917: By Sarah Daniels.
Germany and the new Russian government began a cessation of hostilities.
91: 4-8 December 1917: By Caroline Horton.
Jerusalem was surrendered to the British.
92: 11-15 December 1917: By Shaun McKenna .
Crimea proclaimed its independence, as a secular Muslim state, advocating ethnic and gender equality.
93: 18-22 December 1917: By Shaun McKenna.
Negotiations for peace between Russia and Germany begin at Brest-Litovsk.
93: 25-29 December 1917: By Katie Hims.
The first Ladies’ international football match was played in Belfast.