A major BBC Radio 4 drama series following the lives of those on and behind the battlefront of World War I
Meticulously based on unit war diaries and eye-witness accounts, each of these 43 episodes of Tommies traces one real day at war, exactly 100 years ago.
We follow the fortunes of Mickey Bliss and his fellow signallers from the Lahore Division of the British Indian Army, as they experience life – and death – on the front line. Meanwhile, Dr Celestine de Tullio battles to save soldiers suffering from gas gangrene and trench fever – and experiences the fighting firsthand when she enlists in the Serbian Army and commands a dangerous offensive.
They are all cogs in an immense machine, one which connects situations across the whole theatre of the war, over four long years. Through their voices – and a host of others – we hear untold stories about the conflict in Gaza, Gallipoli, Salonika, Serbia, Mesopotamia, Russia, Macedonia, Italy, Turkmenistan and Tanzania, as well as on the Western Front.
Lee Ross, Pippa Nixon and Indira Varma are among the extensive cast of this gripping series, created by Jonathan Ruffle, who produced the acclaimed real-time radio dramatisation of Len Deighton’s Bomber. Based on actual historical records, it paints a vivid portrait of daily life for soldiers and their families during 1914-1918, and sheds new light on the reality of the Great War.
Producers of the radio plays are David Hunter, Jonquil Panting and Jonathan Ruffle. Authors of the play scripts include Jonathan Ruffle, Michael Chaplin, Ahmad Shah. Nick Warburton and Nandita Ghose.
Cast and characters
Lee Ross – Sergeant Mickey Bliss, of the Signals Section, Lahore Division, British Indian Army
Danny Rahim – Ahmadullah Khan, a Havildar in the Signals Section, Lahore Division, British Indian Army.
Rudi Dharmalingam – Pavan Jodha, a Jemadar in the Signals Section, Lahore Division, British Indian Army.
Pippa Nixon – Celestine de Tullio, a doctor.
Patrick Kennedy – Robert de Tullio, banker and husband of Celestine.
Alex Wyndham – Lieutenant Maberley Dunster, of B Squadron, 15th King’s Hussars, British Army.
Tony Pitts – Sergeant Walter Oddy, of the Signals Section, 2nd Division, British Expeditionary Force.
Elaine Claxton – Sister Marjorie Blaikeley, based in a Boulogne military hospital.
Clive Hayward – Major Hector Monkhouse, of the 15th Bengal Lancers, British Indian Army.
Sam Valentine – Harry de Tullio, young Pilot with the British army.