Documentary on One

Songs My Mother Taught Me

A 'documentary novel' by Chris Brookes about war brides - women, including Chris's own mother, who married allied servicemen during World War II.

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3.8/5 (22 ratings)

Documentary maker: Chris Brookes

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Songs My Mother Taught Me

Nowadays you can find the Second World War safely tucked away in museums and libraries, labeled and organised in glass cases, bookshelves and and historical displays. But a war may be less clearly labeled and organised in the human heart, in memory, in choices made, in consequences, and in the generations that come after. And in every war, the first casualty is truth.

This is the story of British girls who married Allied soldiers from during World War Two. It's a story of wartime love and romance, but it's also a story of escape.

For some, marriage to a man from overseas represented a chance to escape England's restrictive class system and start a new life in a idealised equal-opportunity environment in Australia, America, Canada, Newfoundland or elsewhere.

Of course things didn't always work out that way, and the lands of opportunity didn't always measure up to what they looked like in the movies.

The program reflects the experiences of many women but specifically investigates the history of one of them who lived in London during World War II, and is now deceased.

Her wartime diaries, letters, photos, newspaper clippings and memorabilia form the basis of the program.

She sought to bury the past, but the documentary reveals that her past lives on through present events in the program-maker's own life.

The interviews were recorded in Newfoundland, Ontario and England.

First broadcast on RTE Radio One on Saturday 18th May 2013.

'Songs My Mother Taught Me' first aired on CBC and it won a Gold Medal at at the International Radio Festival of New York.

Produced by Chris Brookes of Battery Radio for CBC Canada

'Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story'

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