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Series 3, Episode 1 of 3: The British Soldier in the Nineteenth Century

Series 3, Episode 1 of 3: The British Soldier in the Nineteenth Century

Playing tracks by

Dmitri Tiomkin, Gordon Highlanders, John Tams, Lucy Ward, Kate Rusby and more.

During the 19th Century, Britain was the first industrial nation and ruled a vast overseas empire. This enormous source of economic power needed military power to defend it. The British Army fought on every continent during the 19th Century, whether against Britain’s great power rivals in Europe, or against further-flung opponents in or around Britain’s colonial possessions in Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

The story of the British soldier during the 19th Century is presented through snapshots of soldiers’ lives from the Napoleonic Wars (1798-1815) to the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902); through readings by Richard Burton, Roger Moore and Rupert Penry-Jones; and through music including folk, rock, swing and soundtrack – by the likes of Thin Lizzy, Kate Rusby, John Barry and Frank Sinatra. The story also benefits from expert insight by our special guest historian, Dr Annie Tindley of the University of Dundee!

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