Skip to main content

Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Voices of the First World War

People's Choice:
5 votes




Imperial War Museums, First World War Centenary




Audio | Visual | Podcast


This podcast series tells the story of the First World War through the voices of those who were there. We have unique archive of 20,000 hours of oral histories giving first hand accounts of the war. These voices include nurses, conscientious objectors, factory workers together with unifirmed soldiers from Britain, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the US and beyond. Every 3 weeks we select stories from this vast archive to produce a 10 minute episode, based on a specific theme.

Podcast 1: The shot that led to war

 Podcast 1 Voices of the First World War: Podcast 1For example our first episode includes a former German soldier, a British Royal Navy sailor and a British woman visiting Germany in 1914, all describing ‘ The shot that led to war’:






Voices of the First World War on iTunes

Voices of the First World War in iTunesVoices of the First World War in iTunes

We have had 10 episodes so far, and they have received consistently positive feedback on itunes:


Apple have highlighted the podcast in 'New and Noteworthy' on several occasions and added it to the ‘featured carousel’ in the period around Armistice day. Thanks to that, the podcast reached #3 in the UK podcast chart. This chart is dominated by BBC and other professional radio content. Beyond Apple’s welcome efforts and our own social media channels we have not marketed it widely yet, but we have already had 130,000 downloads.

Amazing feeddback on iTunes

Typical iTunes comments Typical iTunes comments There are almost 100 comments within iTunes – they can be seen in the iTunes application. Here is a screenshot showing a typical bunch of glowing feedback. 

Another representatiive example:

Priceless by MarkCorderoy 20-Dec-2011: "This is simply brilliant! An opportunity to live world changing events through the voices of those who were there. This brings WW1 to life better than any text boob, I listened to episodes 1 - 8 in one go, and am eagerly awating new episodes. A worthy commemoration of the 1914 centenary."

Adding transcipts and archive photos

Christmas truce podcastChristmas truce podcastWe use our website to augment the audio experience with a full transcript and relevant photos. Here we see unique images related to the Christmas Truce of 1914:










Unique archive content

The content differs from other historical offerings as it relies on first hand testimony, rather than professional interpretation. We will have over 50 by August 2014, providing a unique resource for understanding the war. This podcast highlights engaging, first hand stories from our archives. The results are fascinating, engaging, moving and insightful -- don't take our word, have a look at the feedback on iTunes and listen to them yourselves!

Many thanks.

Nominated By