Broadcaster and historian Dan Snow presents an examination of the role his great, great grandfather David Lloyd George played in the First World War in a 3 part series for the BBC produced by Made in Manchester in association with LJD Productions, Cardiff.
David Lloyd George was the last Liberal to be Prime Minister and took Britain and its then Empire to victory over the Germans in 1918.
Lloyd George’s War charts how Dan’s great, great grandfather went from being ‘anti war’ to become Britain’s biggest recruiting sergeant – persuading millions of men to sign up to fight and rallying millions of women to work in the munitions factories. His sparkling oratory won over a generation and he gradually became the most important figure in the wartime Government. By December 1916 he was Prime Minister and by November 1918 he was being hailed a hero and ‘the man who won the war’ all over the world.
Producer Ashley Byrne says: ‘People think of Winston Churchill and the Second World War but rarely talk about Lloyd George and the First World War. Yet arguably he had a more difficult war. We’d never fought a war like it.
‘Lloyd George also had to deal with the Easter Rising in Ireland, the Russian revolution and trouble in the Middle East. The decisions he made 100 years ago – good or bad – are still being felt today. To tell the history of the modern world you really can’t do it properly without mentioning David Lloyd George,’ Ashley adds.’
The series also looks at Lloyd George’s influence on a young Winston Churchill, on his clash with the Generals and at how in his memoirs, published years later, he appeared to regret the conflict which killed so many people.
‘When LG died,’ says Ashley ‘Winston Churchill called him the Greatest Welshman since the Tudors.
As part of the programme Dan looks through his great, great grandfathers papers and letters and tries to assess why he made the decisions he did.
The programme sees Pobol Y Cwm actor Dyfan Rees (who recently won a mental health award for his portrayal of someone with OCD) plays David Lloyd George and veteran character actor Christopher Strauli (Edward VII and Only When I Laugh) is Winston Churchill.
The first episode of Lloyd George’s War on BBC Radio Wales is available on the BBC iplayer – here with Episode 2 and 3 to be broadcast on the 9th and 16th December. It includes a special title theme composed by the musician Rebecca Applin.