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Watch The Week We Went To War online: Episode 1 Episode 1

Among the wartime stories included in the first programme are interviews with survivors of the Catford school bombing in South London. Mary Burge, then six years old, tells how they all rushed to the window when they heard a plane, thinking it was British. She saw the German pilot wave before watching as her brother John was killed by the exploding bomb. The German plane dropped its 100lb bomb on the junior school in broad daylight. Thirty-eight children and six teachers were killed the largest single loss of children's lives on the Home Front during the war. Some of those who were caught up in the tragedy pay tribute on the programme to the ordinary people who searched for survivors. Eric Brady lost his big sister, Kitty, and says she saved his life her body was found lying over his. Eric says: "If it hadn't been for her I would have been the one dead." Like Eric, 10-year old Brenda Ward was in the school dining room that day: "I heard the very loud noise of a low-flying plane so I got up and I had a look and, honestly, I could see this plane so low I could see the pilot's goggles." Katherine Jenkins says: "If you have links to the war the programme is going to bring back memories. For young people like myself, there are a lot of events that I was unaware of because they happened on the Home Front terrible things like the Bethnal Green Tube disaster, where 173 people died. I have learnt so much." The programme also takes a look at the renaissance of Forties glamour today as well as the more utilitarian styles of the time. And Douglas Wood tells of the emotional trauma of his wartime evacuation in Staffordshire.

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