The war will be televised

The First World War ' Life on the Home Front in North West England
The First World War ' Life on the Home Front in North West England
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Rare footage of bayonet training and life on the Home Front being screened in Preston pub

The First World War will be brought to life in Preston this autumn.

The Continental, on New South Meadow Lane, is hosting a North West Film Archive screening of ‘The First World War – Life on the Home Front in North West England’.

The film marks the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Narrated by Maxine Peake, this rare archive footage reveals its stories of those who stayed behind, and of how lives were changed dramatically in this dark period of our history.

The film includes the crushing despair of daily life of the workers and key events during the hostilities.

The promotors say: “This evocative footage includes the recruitment and departure of soldiers going to the front, and the poignant memorials for those who did not return.

“Entirely without combat footage, this early film record is a powerful testament to the lives of people on the Home Front, and the losses and changes they endured, a century ago.

“The documentary-style production begins by painting a vivid picture of the period immediately before the outbreak of war – a time of relative peace and prosperity – with work in mines, mills and markets across the region.

“Recognition of the industrial success of the North took the form of a Royal Tour by King George V and Queen Mary in 1913, where thousands can be seen turning out to cheer as their motorcade swept through Lancashire.”

The footage also includes recruiting in Liverpool, exercising and training in trenches and with bayonets near Bury, troops being inspected by various dignitaries from Blackpool to Bolton, and marching to the Lancaster railway station to board trains taking them to active service on the Western Front.

The North West Film Archive was established at Manchester Metropolitan University (then Manchester Poly) in 1977 and has works to ensure the survival of films recording life in the North West. Films from the early 20th century are fragile and precious survivors from the pioneering days of the industry, and the NWFA is fortunate to have significant holdings from these early decades, including many rare examples from 1914 to 1918. It now holds in total almost 40,000 items from the 1890s to the present day, and makes the footage available through public film shows around the region, and working with many different organisations and individuals.

The Continental screening is on Wednesday, September 3.

Tickets : £5 online from Skiddle & SEE Tickets.