Screen Shot 2023-02-23 at 2.40.37 pm

War has never been limited to the battlefield. It marches through towns, destroys cities and kills loved ones; it casts an almost impenetrable shadow over everything it touches … but life somehow finds a way to shine, even in the toughest of times.

Beyond the thunder of civilian bombardment, political and military manoeuvring, loss of life and displacement of entire populations, WW2’s shadow stretched far and wide, giving rise to the expression ‘total war’. Total war referred to wars so complex and profligate with manpower that a nation’s entire social, industrial and economic effort was tied-up in the fight. But this is the story of people. It is the story of how they struggled to maintain their livelihoods when the horrors of war infiltrated every facet of their lives.

Using archive footage, still photographs, primary sources, first-hand accounts and expert interviews, Living in the Shadow of WW2 recounts how civilians lived through the war. The series places much of its focus on the civilian population of Great Britain for whom “living in the shadow” was a unique experience: the British people were at war, their cities were attacked, lives were lost and property destroyed. But no enemy soldier ever set foot on British soil. As a result, the war years in Britain constituted an unprecedented combination, mixing “business as usual” with all of the danger and deprivation of modern war. We explore an often surprising, sometimes amusing story of human resourcefulness and resilience in the face of great adversity.