Document

Programmes using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events -

investigating an event in history through new or recently released evidence.

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Episodes

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20090406

Mike investigates why black African soldiers, who had shed their blood for France and formed two thirds of Charles de Gaulle's Free French army, were denied the glory of liberating Paris in August 1944.

Documents written in the lead up to the liberation indicate just how far the Allies went to ensure that the troops marching into the capital were white.

The Tiralleurs Senegalais - soldiers from West Africa who had signed up to fight for France - were turned away from the capital, stripped of their uniforms and made to languish in holding camps before being shipped back to their own countries.

20091116

Mike Thomson presents the series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

Mike tracks down formerly secret reports from MI5 that describe how brainwashing techniques were being used inside British intelligence bases in North Africa during the Second World War.

There, prisoners were exposed to truth drugs and other methods that shocked even a senior agent who went on to head the secret service.

Allegations appeared in the press in 1960 and questions were asked in parliament.

The claims were denied by then prime minister Harold Macmillan, but Document has evidence that he misled the country.

How Harold Macmillan misled parliament in 1960 over claims of war prisoner brainwashing.

20091123

Mike Thomson presents the series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

Mike investigates Britain's role during the 1970 coup in oil-rich Oman.

History records that it was a family affair, but documents reveal London's hidden hand.

Offically, the architect of the coup was the Sultan's son, but in papers seen by the programme, Britain is seen to be calling the shots.

Worried that the country's faltering regime could fall to communism and so threaten its vital oil interests, London decided to act.

Formerly secret documents clearly show British civil servants and military leaders plotting regime change in Oman, by the use of force if necessary.

They concealed their plans and only now can the real story be told.

Mike Thomson investigates Britain's role during the 1970 coup in oil-rich Oman.

20091130

Mike Thomson presents the series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

Mike uncovers Winston Churchill's paper trail of secret deals, bribes and broken promises in wartime Spain.

If Spain entered the war, Britain's supply lines would have been cut and Gibraltar and the entire North Africa campaign put in peril.

Desperate to stop this happening, the prime minister paid Franco's top generals multi-million pound bribes.

Churchill believed disaster could only be averted by using vast sums of money and a shady entrepreneur known as the Last Pirate of the Mediterranean.

Mike Thomson on Churchill's desperate efforts to keep Spain out of the Second World War.

20100308

Mike Thomson presents the series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

In May 1964 prime minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home declared in the House of Commons that British policy in the North Yemen Civil War was one of non-intervention.

But with the security of British interests in Aden and South Arabia under threat, rumours spread of London's covert involvement in the war.

Mike unravels the extent of Britain's underhand engagement in the region, told through high-level secret Whitehall documents, private papers and eyewitness accounts.

As Yemen returns once more to the news headlines, Mike looks back at Britain's policy in the 1960s that went on to have far-reaching consequences for the Yemen of today.

Mike Thomson investigates Britain's secret involvement in the North Yemen Civil War.

20100315

Mike Thomson investigates the story behind the German prisoners of war forced to work in Britain for three years after the Second World War had ended.

The International Red Cross condemned the ongoing use of forced PoW labour after the end of hostilities and the British public and the press voiced strong opinions about the deployment of 'slave labour'.

But the government had other plans: there was a drastic shortage of manpower after the war - with one million British troops still posted overseas - and the availability of nearly 400,000 PoWs in camps on British soil was seen as the quickest solution to the crisis.

Before long, German forced labour made up a quarter of the nation's agricultural workforce.

They were put to work on the roads and they even made up a third of the workers who prepared Wembley for the 1948 Olympics.

Mike unravels the political and moral debate about the repatriation of the Germans; he also hears some of the unintended consequences of captivity by meeting a former PoW who decided to stay behind once he fell in love with both the Scottish Borders and his future wife.

Mike Thomson investigates the story behind the German PoWs forced to work in Britain.

20100322

Mike Thomson presents the series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

With the Bloody Sunday Inquiry due to submit its report to the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Mike investigates how the tragic events of 30th January 1972 sparked a murky propaganda battle which was fought in the world's media.

Mike discovers how a secretive foreign office department working alongside a covert army intelligence unit spun stories against Republicans and Loyalists in the years after Bloody Sunday: stories which are now known to be untrue.

He hears how this black propaganda campaign included tall tales of devil-worshipping among paramilitary groups and deliveries of Soviet weapons to the IRA.

Through documents from the time and eyewitness testimonies, Mike finds out just how far this blending of fact and fiction went to distort what was really happening in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

Mike Thomson investigates the shadowy world of black propaganda in Northern Ireland.

20100816

Mike Thomson returns with Radio 4's investigative history series, examining documents which shed new light on past events.

The news series begins with a paper trail surrounding an oil disaster - not the most recent example in the Gulf of Mexico - but one much closer to home, in the North Sea.

Whilst President Obama has told BP that it will be held fully responsible for cleaning up the damage caused by the massive oil spill off the American coast, papers seen by Document show that the oil company Occidental got off far more lightly after the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 off the Scottish coast, which left 167 people dead.

After seeing the recently released documents, the environmental pressure group Greenpeace claims too little was done to deal with more than five tons of highly toxic chemicals released in the disaster, marine contamination that led the Government to consider a fishing ban and which has had a lasting impact on the North Sea.

The documents also shed light on the decision to topple the remains of the Piper Alpha platform, an operation which threatened to worsen contamination and which was fiercely opposed by relatives who wanted the search for bodies to continue.

Mike Thomson speaks to marine biologists, politicans from the time and survivors to find out if more should have been done to clean up after the disaster.

Producer: Julia Johnson.

What happened to the toxic chemicals released in the Piper Alpha oil disaster in 1988?

20100823

On August 16th 1951 a number of people in the quiet southern French town of Pont St.Esprit began to fall ill.

Stomach pains were soon followed by violent and often terrifying hallucinations.

Local hospitals were soon overwhelmed and more than thirty people were taken to asylums in nearby towns.

It was soon decided that the cause was bread poisoning and the evidence pointed to just one Bakery.

The reason, it was believed was 'ergot', a fungal infection found in Rye bread which had often caused mass poisonings in Medieval times.

But documents obtained by the American writer Hank Albarelli suggest that rather than simple 'ergot' there was a strong possibility that the symptoms and the nature of the outbreak were not a tragic accident.

In his research in to the mysterious death of the CIA biochemist Frank Olson and his post-war work on LSD and its uses as a biochemical weapon he got hold of papers implying Olson's connection with the Pont St Esprit outbreak.

Mike follows up the claims talking to experts in LSD and its impact, historians of the cold-war search for the perfect biochemical weapon and agricultural scientists specialising in ergot poisoning.

He also visits the town of Pont St Esprit and talks to one survivor, the local postman Leon Armundier, about the events of 1951.

Leon describes of the horrors he faced as a young man, being forced into a straight-jacket for a week as burning sensations and images of snakes raged around him.

Many in the town are uneasy at re-opening the old story about Le Pain Maudit - the evil bread - preferring the establishment 'truth' that it was just a tragic accident.

But there are some who believe a proper examination of the facts still hasn't taken place.

Mike Thomson explores claims that the poisoning of a French town in 1951 was an LSD trial.

20100830

In the last of the current series Mike Thomson investigates how Britain covertly manipulated the democratic process in its South American colony, then known as British Guiana in the run up to its independence in 1966.

Mike discovers new documents which show that they deliberately scuppered the outcome of their own conference organised to determine the country's future.

On the face of it the conference, held in London in October 1963, was designed to confirm the constitutional future for what was then British Guiana.

Publicly Britain encouraged the country's Prime Minister Dr Cheddi Jagan - who had been fairly elected in 1961 - and the leader of the opposition Linden Forbes Burnham to agree terms for independence.

However, behind the scenes, the documents reveal that the British were working to a different outcome - to ensure that agreement was never reached.

The British, under pressure from the Kennedy administration which feared Dr Jagan's Marxist leanings, were determined that he would not lead the country to independence.

To this end they suggested a form of proportional representation in forthcoming elections, knowing full well that Dr Jagan would not agree to these terms as they would favour his rival.

When the conference ended in deadlock as the British hoped it would, PR was duly implemented and the following year Dr Jagan was ousted much to the relief of the super powers.

Mike talks to historians, eye witnesses and Guyanese commentators today to discover how democracy itself was destroyed in British Guiana and the legacy of these shady days in today's modern Guyana.

Producer: Paula McGinley.

Mike Thomson investigates how Whitehall undermined democracy in British Guiana.

20110801

In 1965, the British colony of Rhodesia broke away from the Empire. Ian Smith led the country's ruling white minority into a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

But black independence fighters waged a long struggle to oust Smith's regime. By the late 1970s, Joshua Nkomo and his ZAPU party, and Robert Mugabe and his ZANU party, were both engaged in a bush war against Smith's regime.

Resolving the situation had become one of the most pressing issues of British foreign policy. The Foreign Secretary David Owen believed he had to bring all parties to the table if a long-term settlement was to be achieved.

Both Owen and Ian Smith had favoured Joshua Nkomo as the first black majority leader of Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe - until, in 1978, Nkomo's ZAPU fighters brought down a civilian Rhodesian airliner, and butchered a group of survivors.

Mike unearths the famous interview shortly afterwards in which Mr Nkomo was heard to chuckle over this most destructive act in the long-running and increasingly bloody independence struggle.

The Rhodesian special forces immediately stepped up plans to assassinate Nkomo. On 13th April 1979, an audacious raid was launched against Nkomo's house in Lusaka - in Zambian territory - but it failed because he wasn't at home.

Veterans of the Rhodesian forces remain convinced today that their intelligence was good and that Nkomo's escape was the result of a tip-off. And a ZAPU leader agrees with that suspicion.

In this edition of Document, Mike Thomson investigates the accusation that it was the British, informed by someone inside the Rhodesian command, who tipped off Nkomo. And he also examines whether the British later did the same when attempts were made on Robert Mugabe's life in Mozambique.

Did the belief that getting all parties to the table was the only way forward mean that, where possible, men who were responsible for what some saw as terrorism were to be protected?

Memos within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office suggest that the survival of Nkomo and Mugabe was indeed due, in part, to British involvement.

In his bid to uncover the truth, Mike talks to members of the Rhodesian defence forces as well as senior British diplomats involved at the time.

Mike Thomson asks if Britain's part in Zimbabwean peace meant protecting terrorists.

In 1965, the British colony of Rhodesia broke away from the Empire.

Ian Smith led the country's ruling white minority into a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

But black independence fighters waged a long struggle to oust Smith's regime.

By the late 1970s, Joshua Nkomo and his ZAPU party, and Robert Mugabe and his ZANU party, were both engaged in a bush war against Smith's regime.

Resolving the situation had become one of the most pressing issues of British foreign policy.

The Foreign Secretary David Owen believed he had to bring all parties to the table if a long-term settlement was to be achieved.

The Rhodesian special forces immediately stepped up plans to assassinate Nkomo.

On 13th April 1979, an audacious raid was launched against Nkomo's house in Lusaka - in Zambian territory - but it failed because he wasn't at home.

Veterans of the Rhodesian forces remain convinced today that their intelligence was good and that Nkomo's escape was the result of a tip-off.

And a ZAPU leader agrees with that suspicion.

In this edition of Document, Mike Thomson investigates the accusation that it was the British, informed by someone inside the Rhodesian command, who tipped off Nkomo.

And he also examines whether the British later did the same when attempts were made on Robert Mugabe's life in Mozambique.

20110808

In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria.

As the Nazi repression of Austrian Jews intensified, many were desperately seeking ways of leaving the country.

One option was obtaining a baptismal certificate which offered the hope of making it easier to acquire transit visas and move across borders.

The President of the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum has just discovered, to his surprise, one such baptismal certificate belonging to his great uncle.

Mike Thomson follows this certificate back to the Anglican Church in Vienna, where this and many other baptisms took place in a very short space of time.

He finds people who received these certificates and hears how they were useful in aiding their escape from Austria.

He finds out about the Chaplains who came up against the Gestapo as a result of conducting these baptisms, and asks what motivated them.

He also unravels the arguments in the Church of England over what should be done to help Jews trying to escape Nazi Europe.

Producer: Neil McCarthy.

Mike Thomson investigates the secret baptism of Jews in Vienna's Anglican church, in 1938.

20110815

Mike Thomson investigates the collapse of the US UK special relationship in 1973, via a revealing transcript of a phone call between President Nixon and Henry Kissinger which suggests the split was deeper and more severe than previously thought.

As Britain joined the EEC, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger became increasingly annoyed at the lack of support by Edward Heath's government for American foreign policy.

Mike uncovers papers which suggest that in retaliation, the US switched off the supply of intelligence to the UK.

Among those Mike speaks to are former Defence and Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington and Lord Powell, later Margaret Thatcher's Private Secretary.

Producer: Laurence Grissell.

Mike Thomson investigates the collapse of the US UK special relationship in 1973.

*20090323

Mike uncovers papers which accused the BBC of biased reporting as Iran descended into revolution in 1978 and 1979.

The documents show that the BBC's Persian Service found itself attacked on all sides, with the most vociferous critics claiming that the Corporation was not simply reporting events but influencing them in favour of regime change.

As Ayatollah Khomeini sat in exile in Paris, the BBC stood charged with galvanising the radical cleric's supporters and acting as his mouthpiece in Tehran.

Featuring interviews with then Foreign Secretary Lord Owen, the then Iranian Ambassador, senior BBC figures and academic experts.

Gchq: Keeping The Last Great Secret20121105

A document left in a pub, its chance discovery and scandals already facing the secret services in post-war Britain are the subject of the latest in Mike Thomson's Document series.

The document was a journalist's notebook. Passing through the hands of a barmaid, a landlord and the local police, it got perilously close to disclosing vital secrets about British surveillance - secrets that thousands of workers had taken strenuous efforts to preserve.

Why had a journalist been able to conduct interviews about all this? What impact would the revelations have had on the secret services, our foreign policy and our relations with America?

These questions confronted senior security service officials at a moment when they were already deep in the greatest peacetime crisis they faced in the twentieth century.

The last thing they needed, in the fevered weeks after the flight to Moscow of the Soviet spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, was the threat of yet another major breach of security.

In this edition of Document, Mike discovers exactly how close they came to facing a fresh calamity.

Producer: Tom Alban.

Leyland Buses, Cuba And The Cia20090330

Mike Thomson presents the series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

Mike examines allegations that CIA agents sabotaged consignments of British Leyland buses bound for Cuba in the 1960s.

The British government's support of a deal to export hundreds of buses to the island, which was in the early days of its revolution, incensed the American government, which was trying to enforce its economic blockade.

With anti-Castro rhetoric and communist fears mounting within the Kennedy administration, the CIA was given special powers to undermine the regime in Cuba.

Mike examines official papers which point towards concerns that the coveted Leyland buses had been sabotaged on Cuban soil or en route to Cuba.

With 'spymania' in the air, these fears were heightened when in October 1964 a ship carrying 42 buses to Havana was struck by another ship on the Thames and sunk.

The programme investigates just how far the US was prepared to go to sabotage the Cuban economy and asks whether the CIA could really have sent the buses to the bottom of the Thames.

Mike examines allegations that the CIA sabotaged a shipment of buses from Britain to Cuba.

The Bbc And The Hungarian Holocaust20121112

Mike Thomson investigates the role of the BBC Hungarian Service in World War II.

In March 1944 German troops occupied Hungary. In doing so they brought the Final Solution to the largest remaining Jewish population in Europe. Within months over 400,000 people were deported and killed by a now almost perfect mass killing machine.

Mike Thomson investigates documents which suggest that the BBC was directed not to broadcast crucial information and examines claims that it could have saved thousands of lives.

The British Gunner And The Irish Civil War20121029

Mike Thomson returns with Radio 4's investigative history series.

Dublin 1922. Irish rebel leader Michael Collins has signed a new Treaty with Britain. The new Irish Free State is taking shape.

But even as Collins was establishing the Free State, a rebellion from within Irish Republican ranks broke out against the new state and the Treaty with Britain. The anti-Treaty forces seized the 'Four Courts' legal complex in central Dublin.

Meanwhile, in London, the former Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir Henry Wilson, was assassinated by Republicans outside his Chelsea home.

The British Government urged Michael Collins their recent foe - and now fellow national leader - to act.

Mike visits Dublin to examine what a soldier's forgotten memoir reveals about Britain's true role at the start of the Irish Civil War.

Producer: Neil McCarthy.

0120120305

Mike Thomson returns with Radio 4's investigative history series, examining documents which shed new light on past events.

In the first programme of the new series, Mike investigates the role played by the French Government and defence industry during the Falklands War.

30 years on, it's well documented that French President Francois Mitterrand was supportive of the British war effort - not least in the memoirs of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Yet Mike discovers papers which suggest there was a deep split within the French government.

Producer: Laurence Grissell.

Mike Thomson investigates the role the French government played in the 1982 Falklands War.

01The Bomb, The Chancellor And Britain's Nuclear Secrets20110314

Mike Thomson returns with Radio 4's investigative history series.

In the first edition of a new series, Mike investigates documents which suggest that Labour Chancellor Denis Healey was kept in the dark over plans to modernise Polaris, Britain's nuclear weapons system in the mid-1970s.

Dubbed Chevaline, the upgrade programme was top secret and highly controversial, that would eventually cost hundreds of millions of pounds more than originally estimated.

And all this at a time of economic hardship.

Striving to keep his split party together on the highly sensitive issue of nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Harold Wilson restricted decision-making to a small circle of ministers.

But Thomson discovers papers which suggest that officials may have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that Chevaline was kept on track, proposing to withold key information from a sceptical Chancellor on the "need to know" basis.

Was national security the real reason or were other motives at play?

Mike puts the claims to former Cabinet Ministers Tony Benn and Lord Owen, formerly David Owen, Foreign Secretary in the late 70s.

Producer: Laurence Grissell

Also in this series, Mike Thomson will shed new light on what some regard as the first shots in the Cold War between Britain and Soviet Russia: an alleged plot to overthrow the Bolshevik regime in 1918 and to kill its leaders, Lenin and Trotsky.

Mike Thomson explores documents which shed light on plans to update Polaris in the mid-70s

0220110321

In 1918 Russia was in turmoil and that summer the Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin, was shot and very nearly killed.

The following morning, the British representative in Moscow was arrested.

The Soviet secret services accused him of being at the centre of a dastardly imperialist plot to overthrow the young, fragile Bolshevik regime and to assassinate both Lenin and Trotsky.

And that is a story the Russians have stuck to ever since.

The British, on the other hand, have consistently dismissed the Soviet allegations as far-fetched propaganda.

But were the Russians right? The alleged plot soured Anglo-Soviet relations for years afterwards - even to the present day.

Using as yet unpublished archives, Mike Thomson investigates the truth behind this "plot."

Producer: John Murphy.

Mike Thomson reveals the truth behind an alleged British plot to kill Lenin.

0220120312

Mike Thomson presents Radio 4's investigative history series, examining documents which shed new light on past events.

In 1946, against the general post-Second World War retreat from Empire, Britain acquired a new territory: Sarawak on the island of Borneo.

Before its cession to the British, Sarawak had, for over a hundred years, been ruled over by the so-called White Rajahs.

They were, in fact, the Brooke family from Dorset and the decision by Vyner Brooke to hand over to British rule was a controversial one both within his family and within the country of Sarawak in general.

By 1949 it appeared that those opposed to the handover or 'cession', led by Anthony Brooke, were losing the argument.

It was then that a new governor, Duncan Stewart, was appointed. But a few short weeks after his arrival, he was fatally stabbed while inspecting a school in the provincial town of Sibu.

Stewart bravely tried to hide his injury and was flown out to Singapore. He clung to life long enough to see his wife who had hurried from London to see him.

The death of a young and promising British officer was blamed on the final, violent convulsion of the anti-cession movement, with the implication that Anthony Brooke should share some of the responsibility.

But was that really the motive for the attack? With the help of documents discovered by historian Simon Ball, Mikr Thomson explores the British attempts to play down and even hide the real reason for the assassination.

And Mike speaks to Anthony Brooke's grandson and Duncan Stewart's daughter about the legacy left to them by this forgotten outburst of colonial violence.

Producer: Tom Alban.

Mike Thomson unearths the motives behind the 1949 murder of a British colonial governor.

0320110328

Mike Thomson explores newly released documents which suggest that Éamon de Valera's Fianna Fáil government secretly co-operated with the British to crush the IRA in the 1930s.

In January 1939 the IRA launched a devastating bombing campaign across England for the cause of a united Ireland.

Bombs left at power stations, in litter bins and empty cinemas caused havoc in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other major cities.

In August 1939 Coventry suffered the worst explosion when a bomb carried by a bicycle brought carnage to the streets and left five dead.

Ireland's Prime Minister Éamon de Valera was in a difficult position as he had turned his back on the militant republicanism of his youth in favour of constitutional politics.

With war looming he also wanted to keep Ireland neutral.

Faced with an IRA campaign that was undermining his political efforts and ratcheting up the violence - at one stage the IRA even considered recruiting volunteers for "death squads" - documents show that de Valera was secretly co-operating with his arch enemy - the British government - to stamp out his former brothers in arms.

Producer: Paula McGinley.

Mike Thomson investigates secret Anglo-Irish co-operation against the IRA in the 1930s.

0320120319

Mike Thomson continues Radio 4's investigative history series, examining documents which shed new light on past events.

In 1942, the Vichy regime ruled a large part of France, after striking a deal with Hitler when France fell in June 1940. This left France officially neutral, with a severely limited 'Armistice Army'. Yet British troops were fighting Vichy forces in Madagascar, as they had done in Syria in1941. France, it seems, was more neutral towards Germany than towards Britain; here its collaborationist regime, under Marshall Petain, was viewed with contempt by Winston Churchill and the British people, who instead supported Charles De Gaulle, leader of the Free French.

Yet in this edition of Document, Mike Thomson presents evidence that, not only were the British Chiefs of Staff meeting with representatives of the Vichy army to discuss supplying them with arms, but they were doing so behind the backs of Prime Minister Churchill and the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden.

To investigate, Mike enlists the help of Eric Grove - Professor of Naval History at the University of Salford, Vichy historians Robert Paxton, Henry Rousso and Simon Kitson, eminent French historian Jean-Louis Cremieux-Brilhac - who was one of De Gaulle's intelligence officers, and military historians Max Hastings and Colin Smith, as well as Gerald Bryan, who was badly injured fighting Vichy forces in Syria.

Producer: Marya Burgess.

Why were the British Chiefs of Staff in secret contact with enemy Vichy France in 1942?

195C01The Lord, The Sword And The Guru19950907

Producer: N.

ACHESON

Next in series: THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY

Previous in series: THE MARBURG FILE

Description

Programme using documentary evidence to shed new light on past events.

Mark Tully looks at the shipping of a large collection of Sikh arms and relics to Britain in 1849.

What happened to these items? Were they legally acquired?

Subject Categories

history programmes (genre)

sikh artefacts

Broadcast history

07 Sep 1995 19:20-20:00 (RADIO 4)

Contributors

Mark Tully

Nigel Acheson (Producer)

Rani Singh (Producer)

Anthony Hyde (rdr)

Josh Towb (rdr)

Jeffrey Whitehead (rdr)

John Keay (Speaker)

Jeevan Deol (Speaker)

Kuldip Nayar (Speaker)

Robert Skelton (Speaker)

Sue Stronge (Speaker)

Harbans Singh (Sikh diplomat) (Speaker)

Gurbax Singh Anandpuri (Speaker)

Baba Sing Ji Sahib (Singh teacher) (Speaker)

Ikbhal Singh (Speaker)

Kushwant Singh (Sikh historian) (Speaker)

Nahar Singh (Indian Archives researcher) (Speaker)

Christian Broun-Lindsay (Speaker)

Richard Bingle (Doctor) (Speaker)

Ludovic Broun-Lindsay (Speaker).

195C02The Bunker1995091420040801

Another chance to hear the investigative documentary series.

Somewhere under the streets of a housing estate in Reading, a dark secret may be lurking.

Producer: N.

TREVITHICK

Next in series: MATA HARI - THE FATAL LOVER

Previous in series: 1.

THE LORD, THE SWORD AND THE GURU

Description

Patrick WRIGHT reads the hidden depths lying in the stained glass windows of

Subject Categories

documentaries (programme format)

artifacts (commemorative)

stained glass

st mary the virgin (church) (swaffham prior)

Broadcast history

14 Sep 1995 19:20-20:00 (RADIO 4)

Contributors

Patrick Wright

Neil Trevithick (Producer)

John Clarke (Speaker)

Peter Cormack (Speaker)

Mark Howarth (Speaker)

Fred Day (Speaker)

Mrs Budden (Speaker)

Violet Betts (Speaker)

Andrew Camps (Speaker)

Aurea Cazenove (Speaker)

Alice Day (Speaker)

Alan Akroyd (Speaker)

Philip Leeson (Speaker)

Annie Lowe (Speaker)

Bob Sheldrick (Speaker)

Recorded on 1995-08-01.

With Mike Thomson.

The story of unusually high levels of plutonium and uranium in an ordinary suburban house in Reading.

Could the source be a secret bunker buried under a housing estate next door?

195C02Through A Glass Darkly1995091420040801

Another chance to hear the investigative documentary series.

Somewhere under the streets of a housing estate in Reading, a dark secret may be lurking.

Producer: N.

TREVITHICK

Next in series: MATA HARI - THE FATAL LOVER

Previous in series: 1.

THE LORD, THE SWORD AND THE GURU

Description

Patrick WRIGHT reads the hidden depths lying in the stained glass windows of

Subject Categories

documentaries (programme format)

artifacts (commemorative)

stained glass

st mary the virgin (church) (swaffham prior)

Broadcast history

14 Sep 1995 19:20-20:00 (RADIO 4)

Contributors

Patrick Wright

Neil Trevithick (Producer)

John Clarke (Speaker)

Peter Cormack (Speaker)

Mark Howarth (Speaker)

Fred Day (Speaker)

Mrs Budden (Speaker)

Violet Betts (Speaker)

Andrew Camps (Speaker)

Aurea Cazenove (Speaker)

Alice Day (Speaker)

Alan Akroyd (Speaker)

Philip Leeson (Speaker)

Annie Lowe (Speaker)

Bob Sheldrick (Speaker)

Recorded on 1995-08-01.

195C03Mata Hari19950921

- THE FATAL LOVER

Producer: BURMAN, Mark

Next in series: A QUESTION OF TRUST

Previous in series: THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY

Description

SBH:Mata Hari - The Fatal Lover.

Julie Wheelwright explores the fact and the fantasy behind the life and death of the legendary spy, courtesan and exotic dancer.

With 1940s recordings of Mata Hari's prosecutors.

A programme in the series Document.

Broadcast history

21 Sep 1995 00:00-00:00 (RADIO 4)

Contributors

Julie Wheelwright (Author)

Mark Burman (Producer)

Geoffrey Whitehead (rdr)

Jonathan Keeble (rdr)

Andrew Branch (rdr)

Imogen Stubbs (rdr)

Vernon Dobtcheff (rdr)

Sandrine Morvan (Speaker)

Natalie Barney (Speaker)

John Kieger (Speaker)

Pierre Bouchardon (Speaker)

Andre Bouchardon (Speaker)

Andre Mornet (Speaker)

Jean Mouriel (Speaker)

Sam Waagenaar (Speaker)

George Reid Grant (Speaker)

Leon Schirmann (Speaker)

Kate Paviot (tr)

Steve Evans (translator (tr)) (tr)

Notes: CAIRS 709128.

195C04A Question Of Trust19950928

Producer: N.

ACHESON

Next in series: THE GAL AFFAIR

Previous in series: MATA HARI - THE FATAL LOVER

Description

SBH:A Question of Trust.

Gerry Kennedy revisits the former USSR and talks former members of the Trust Group, a group of Moscow writers, academics and refuseniks who challenged the Soviet authorities by maintaining dialogue with Western peace movements.

OTN:SLN539/95FT4642 TXN/TDT:R4 28-Sep-1995

Broadcast history

28 Sep 1995 19:20-20:00 (RADIO 4)

Contributors

Gerry Kennedy (Speaker)

Ann Pettit (Speaker)

Nigel Wade (Speaker)

Olga Medvedkova (Speaker)

Deborah Lubar (Speaker)

Dina Dudkin (Speaker)

Yuri Medvedkova (Speaker)

Misha Ostrovsky (Speaker)

Sergei Batovrin (Speaker)

Alexander Shtravka (Speaker)

Notes: CAIRS 658507.

197D01The Greatest Hangover In History19971106

Programmes using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events -

investigating an event in history through new or recently released evidence.Far from being the Utopian climax of a great social revolution, the Russian Revolution of 1917 was characterised by crime and random violence.

In an attempt to separate fact from fiction, Helen Weinstein questions controversial historian Orlando Figes, author of `A People's Tragedy: the Russian Revolution'.

197D02Thin Ice19971113

In 1984, Stephen Weeks was directing a major feature film, `The Bengal Lancers', in India, when he received reports from London that all the film rushes were out of focus and unusable.

He tried desperately to salvage the film, before finding out that his work had fallen prey to a massive insurance fraud.

197D03The Fire Is In Our Hearts19971120

Inspired by a book he found at a jumble sale in an East London school, Alan Dein uncovers a chain of events which led to a mass pupils' strike in support of an inspirational teacher in 1971.

197D04My Home, My Land19971127

Fifty years ago today, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine and give a home to the Jews.

The story of the events leading up to that crucial vote is told by the people whose lives it changed.

Presented by Roisin McAuley.

197D05 LASTThe Ring Of Remembrance19971204

American airman Larry Dundon was killed when his bomber crashed on a hill in Belfast in 1944.

He now lies buried in a Cambridge cemetery.

Historian Malcolm Gaskill finds out how an astonishing discovery caused him to be remembered again 50 years after his death.

198C01Scholars And Spies19980730

Professor Bill Sherman explores some unexpected connections between the court of Elizabeth I and the corridors of the CIA.

198C02The Third Room19980806

Christopher Cook pieces together the strange Cold War history of the Information Research Department and George Orwell's contribution to it.

198C03The Last Witch In England19980813

Helen Weinstein explores the psychic world of Helen Duncan, the last witch to be tried and sentenced in England in 1944.

198C04 LASTRorke's Drift19980820

The film `Zulu' portrayed the gallantry of the Welsh soldiers as they faced Zulu warriors at the battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879.

Historian David Rattray revisits the site of the battle and examines the British and Zulu actions in the light of documents and oral history handed down by both sides.

200A01The Agent And His Archive20000127

Helen Weinstein meets Vasili Mitrokhin, the man who was once in charge of the KGB's most secret documents.

He tells the story of how he changed from being a loyal KGB bureaucrat to a covert and compulsive noter of the files that crossed his desk.

200A02A Letter To The Times20000203

Between June 1970 and October 1971 there was an extraordinary turnabout in public opinion in favour of Britain's entering the European Economic Community.

How was this achieved, and why? Christopher Cook discovers a memo which takes us to the dark heart of political spin.

With Sir Edward Heath, Lord Rees Mogg and Lord Hattersley.

200A03Uncovering The Saints20000210

An oak panel discovered in a Suffolk stable is revealed to be one of the rarest medieval paintings in England.

Where did it come from, and how did it get to be forgotten in a wood pile? Martin Wainwright talks to historians and restorers.

200A04Happy Hearts Club Banned20000217

Alan Dein investigates the world's greatest underground rock album - Egon Bondy's `Happy Hearts Club Banned'.

The title was strange enough, but who were the Plastic People of the Universe and why were they in jail? Just two of the questions that raced through Dein's mind 21 years ago as he took home this intriguing LP.

200A05 LASTTaking Sides With The Enemy20000224

Martin Wainwright tells the story behind a triumphal arch in Leeds which celebrates the independence of North America.

Who was jubilant at the humiliating defeat of the English army and the loss of the American colonies...?

200D01Valentiner's Watch2000111620040725

When Jos Finer was given his uncle's watch, he was intrigued by the eagle on its back, holding beneath its talons a swastika.

Finer and Mike Thomson undertake a journey to trace the watch's original owner, Hans Valentiner, captain of the U385.

The story of an eagle and a swastika engraved on a watch.

Mike Thomson explores the lives of the men who died building the Forth Bridge in the 1880s, a casualty list far higher than previously thought.

Local historian Jim Walker was giving lectures locally on the construction of the bridge when he became aware that there was no memorial erected to the men who died building it - officially recorded as 57 men.

But when he and his colleagues in the Queensferry History Group started to look for the names of these men, the records took them to 57 and way beyond.

The group have now identified over 80 deaths though to be connected to the bridge's construction, and the work is still continuing.

200D02A Letter In The Street20001123

A neat, hand-written letter which was found abandoned in Charing Cross Road sets Mike Thomson off on a trail that leads him along health service corridors of power.

200D03Who Killed The Albatross?20001130

When Coleridge's Ancient Mariner shoots the albatross, history has assumed that the finger on the trigger was the genius of the poet.

But not so, as Mike Thomson discovers when he reopens the journals of Captain Cook and his explorers, whose minds were warped by scurvy and sinister imaginings.

200D04 LASTCamping With Hitler20001207

Mike Thomson investigates Nazi efforts to forge associations with British boy scouts in the late 30s, uncovering a series of exchange visits, joint rallies and camping trips.

201C01The Day They Made It Rain2001083020040822

On 15 August 1952, in the picturesque Devon village of Lynmouth, a devastating flood cost 34 lives.

It rained so hard it didn't seem entirely natural and some said it wasn't.

Document looks at new evidence on the imprecise science of cloud seeding.

It reveals who had secrets to keep an what the implications are now for us all.

Mike Thomson looks at new evidence on the imprecise science of cloud seeding.

Netherlands during the darkest days of the war.

201C03Threads Of Hope20010913

Mike Thomson uncovers the history of a piece of cloth, six by three feet, which was left in an office drawer for decades.

201C04Barbed Wire Love20010920

A punk rock record takes Mike Thomson back to the Belfast of the late 1970s.

201C05The Day They Made It Rain2001083020040822
201C05 LASTChurchill's Finest Folly20010927

Mike Thomson uncovers how close Churchill came to sinking the bulk of the British fleet in the spring of 1940.

202C01The Bone Harvest20020822

From the mid-1950s to the early 70s, extensive radiation tests were carried out on the bones of dead babies.

202C02The Secret Spangled British2002082920020905

With Mike Thomson.

By 1957, Britain had acquired the H-bomb, and was demonstrating the fact to the world's press on Christmas Island.

But things were not quite as they seemed.

Mike Thomson presents the investigative series.

2: `The Secret Spangled British'.

The national anthem of the United States is as American as mom's apple pie - or is it?

202C03Alice's Annulment2002091920040808

In 1433 a "sufficiently pretty" woman who was "scarcely 26" gathered together seven female witnesses to testify in the church court at York Minster that her husband John was impotent.

How the seven women came to be so sure and what conclusions the judge drew from their certainty make the basis of a fascinating tale that reveals a great deal about women's lib in the middle ages.

How, in 1433, a young woman gathered together seven other women to testify to her husband's impotence in the church court at York Minster.

202C03The Secrets Of The Icewhale20020912

What is the connection between an experimental vessel, a specially adapted bomber, a toilet seat, a powder puff and thousands of weather balloons?

202C04Alice's Annulment2002091920040808
202C05 LASTHarold Wilson: The Letter And The Lie?20020926

Mike Thomson finds evidence that Wilson deceived Parliament and the country over sanctions to former Rhodesia.

203C01Mosquito Wars20030908

The award-winning investigative series returns, in which Mike Thomson takes a document as a starting-point to shed new light on past events.

When the Germans flooded the Pontine Marshes, south of Rome in the autumn of 1943, a malarial epidemic followed which infected more than 100,000 allied soldiers and local Italians.

Some say this was all a dreadful accident, but Mike Thomson travels through Italy in search of documents that tell a very different story; one that points to what may be the first recorded case of biological warfare in the 20th Century.

203C02Sisters Of Kali2003091520040815

Why would a respected Irish headmistress travel to India and change her name to Sister Nivedita? It means The Dedicated One and, 100 years later, the repercussions of her remarkable dedication can still be felt.

Mike Thomson follows a trail of documents from Calcutta to Galway, New York and eventually into the heart of the Sri Lankan jungle where he comes face to face with arguably today's most ruthless terrorists of all.

203C03An Organist's Tale20030922

With Mike Thomson.

Though a local hero in Monmouthshire, the only account of James Parry's life and loves is his own kiss-and-tell memoir published in 1741.

203C04Lucilla And The Lost Lands20030929

Miss Lucilla Reeve took her own life in 1950.

Her grave, our document, cannot be visited without a special permit because it now lies in the Standford Battle area.

The inhabitants of 6 villages in the Breckland district of Norfolk received letters saying they had to be evacuated within 7 days.

Similar letters were being received in Wales, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The army and RAF desperately needed somewhere to train.

The implication was that the villagers would be allowed back once the war was over.

Miss Reeve, a farmer and land agent, refused to leave but eventually gave up the fight.

The lost villages of Breckland have never been returned and Mike Thomson investigates why.

203C04Sisters Of Kali2003091520040815
203C05 LASTThe Bunker2003100620040801
204C01Guinea Pig Kids20040830

The award winning investigative history series returns and begins by examining claims that society's most vulnerable children, as young as three months old, have been used to test the safety of drugs by pharmaceutical companies.

The paper chase begins decades ago in Britain, and then takes presenter Mike Thomson to Ireland then across the ocean to America.

On the way he encounters chilling stories as cocktails of powerful drugs are administered to infants and children 'in the care' of the Church or the State.

How could this happen, who is to blame and is it still going on?

204C02The Land Of The Unfree20040906

America has always advertised itself as the Land of the Free, a home to those who sought new lives away from the oppression of the old world.

But this week, Mike Thomson follows a trail of documents across the Atlantic that show that many of the first settlers of the American colonies were not freemen at all.

They were, in fact, some 50,000 of Britain's most dangerous criminals, taken in irons to work as slaves for their colonial masters.

A dark secret in the genealogical past of a nation but will Mike find famous Americans whose ancestors have their roots in the gaols of Georgian England?

204C03Arms And Intelligence20040913

The recent Butler Report into intelligence failures has focussed attention on the relationship between the elected government and security services.

Document flicks back the pages of history to an earlier moment when weapons, spies and public interest collided - and exploded.

Presenter Mike Thomson examines boardroom tussle at arms firm Astra Holdings in the early 1990s, the work of an intelligence agent, speaking for the first time, and the shadowy world of selling weapons - for money, influence and intelligence.

204C04Hitler's Indian Army20040920

Mike Thomson follows a paper trail in pursuit of the Tiger Legion.

204C05 LASTEmma, Queen Of Spin:20040927

Mike Thomson presents the last of five investigations whose starting point is a piece of intriguing documentary evidence.

205C01A Very British Coup20050822

Document reveals the true extent of Britain's involvement in the coup of 1953, which toppled Iran's democratically elected government and replaced it with the tyranny of the Shah.

Iran had just nationalised the very oil fields that had powered Britain through two world wars.

Downing Street wanted them back.

London paid Iranian agents to sow seeds of dissent in Tehran.

Then, to win American support for a coup, the men from the Ministry fanned fears of a Russian invasion.

Even the BBC was used to spearhead Britain's propaganda campaign.

In fact, Auntie agreed to broadcast the very code word that was to spark revolution.

Around a decade ago the American government apologised for its role in the coup.

Yet despite current concerns over oil scandals, regime change and the cost of meddling in Middle East politics, Britain has remained silent.

Document investigates.

205C01Valentiner's Watch2005091220040725

When Jos Finer was given his uncle's watch, he was intrigued by the eagle on its back, holding beneath its talons a swastika.

Finer and Mike Thomson undertake a journey to trace the watch's original owner, Hans Valentiner, captain of the U385.

The story of an eagle and a swastika engraved on a watch.

Mike Thomson explores the lives of the men who died building the Forth Bridge in the 1880s, a casualty list far higher than previously thought.

Local historian Jim Walker was giving lectures locally on the construction of the bridge when he became aware that there was no memorial erected to the men who died building it - officially recorded as 57 men.

But when he and his colleagues in the Queensferry History Group started to look for the names of these men, the records took them to 57 and way beyond.

The group have now identified over 80 deaths though to be connected to the bridge's construction, and the work is still continuing.

205C02A Right Royal Affair20050829

Mike Thomson is on the trail of a royal will that bears the hallmarks of unspeakable scandal.

It belonged to Prince Francis of Teck who died in 1911.

Soon after his sister, Queen Mary, won the right to seal his will.

No reason was ever given and this mysterious privilege is still granted to royals today.

Mike uncovers evidence of adulterous royal affairs and passionate battles over precious gems.

205C03Dad's Revolutionary Army20050905

Mike Thomson examines the origins of Britain's wartime Home Guard.

What he finds is far from the popular image of TV 's Dad's Army.

Instead of bumbling Corporal Jones and Captain Mainwaring, Mike discovers a left-wing revolutionary army being trained to wage war on Downing Street should Britain ever give in to Hitler.

205C04 LASTThe Forth Bridge2005091220040725

The story of an eagle and a swastika engraved on a watch.

Mike Thomson explores the lives of the men who died building the Forth Bridge in the 1880s, a casualty list far higher than previously thought.

Local historian Jim Walker was giving lectures locally on the construction of the bridge when he became aware that there was no memorial erected to the men who died building it - officially recorded as 57 men.

But when he and his colleagues in the Queensferry History Group started to look for the names of these men, the records took them to 57 and way beyond.

The group have now identified over 80 deaths though to be connected to the bridge's construction, and the work is still continuing.

206A01Recruiting The Reich20060109

Mike Thomson uncovers evidence of Britain's secret deals with senior Nazis at the end of the Second World War.

206A0220060116

Series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

206A0320060123

Ever since the Turkish army invaded and occupied Northern Cyprus in 1974, the partition of the island between ethnic Greeks and Turks has seemed set in stone.

But the first green line, through the capital, was drawn ten years earlier by a British general - using a green pencil that happened to be at hand.

Throughout 1964, British troops were on the island, supposedly for peace-keeping.

But were they really bringing peace?

Mike Thomson uncovers the existence of a British spy ring and examines new documents that suggest that the real motives of some of the peacekeepers were less than honourable.

206A04 LAST20060130

Mike Thompson uncovers Treasury files from the mid 1970s that show how officials tried to keep the true value of North Sea Oil to a potentially independent Scotland from the public.

206C01Kenya's Bloody Summer2006071020070328

A tale of murder and cover-up by the British Army in Kenya 50 years ago.

Mike Thomson uncovers the facts thanks to a secret file, reluctantly released by the MoD.

But some of its pages are still missing.

What have the authorities got to hide?

206C02A Laudable Invasion?2006071720070404

The story of the Laudabiliter, a Papal letter which for 800 years became the legal precedent for English occupation of Ireland.

But Mike Thomson has new evidence which claims that the Laudabiliter was 'sexed-up' and possibly entirely faked.

Could it be that England's claim to Ireland is based on a forged document?

206C03 LASTA Date With Bevin2006072420070411

Radio 4's investigative history series continues with the story of a Jewish bombing campaign in the UK.

Previously secret documents indicate that in 1946, the British Secret Service was concerned about Jewish terrorists destined for Britain on a mission to assassinate Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin.

Mike Thomson tracks down former members of the outlawed Irgun and the Stern Gang terrorist groups, and discovers that it was not just Bevin who was in danger - the question is how near did they get?

207A01The Marriage Cordiale2007011520070228

The extraordinary tale of the 1956 French offer to turn Britain and France into one country.

Previously secret documents reveal that the French Prime Minister, Guy Mollet, made the offer to Anthony Eden who discussed it with his Cabinet.

Mollet even suggested Elizabeth II could be head of the French state.

What motivated Mollet's offer and how close did his plan come to being realised?

Mike Thomson investigates a time when the fate of France, the shape of Europe, and the balance of global power hung in the balance.

207A02The Woman Who Never Was2007012220070307

Mike Thomson re-visits a document that split the country in two and ended a politician's career.

When Enoch Powell made his infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech in April 1968, he quoted from a letter he had received, describing the isolation and fear in which a constituent of his was living.

In spite of a massive media hunt, Powell made it a point of principle never to reveal her name and he took the secret of her identity with him to the grave.

But now, in the light of new evidence, Mike Thomson travels to Wolverhampton in search of the woman Enoch Powell defended.

207A03 LASTFranco's British Friends2007012920070314

Mark Thompson uncovers evidence that a group of British aristocrats and celebrities helped the fascist leader, General Franco, during the Spanish Civil War.

Recently released papers from MI5 show that a cast of colourful characters secretly flew planes to Franco from an air-base near London.

Among them was a famous flying ace, a top racing driver and an aristocrat whose brother later shot to fame after Rudolph Hess parachuted onto his estate during Second World War.

207C01The Ghosts Of Greenham20070716

In June 1980, it was announced that American Cruise missiles were coming to Greenham Common in Berkshire - within months the iconic women's anti-nuclear campaign was born.

But what neither the women nor the local residents knew was that scientists at nearby Aldermaston had concluded in a secret report that Greenham was the most dangerous of all the possible UK sites, with over ten million people at risk in the event of an accident.

Mike Thomson asks why the 'UK-US special relationship' placed American operational needs above the safety of British citizens.

207C02The White House Coup20070723

As the Great Depression gripped the US during the 1930s, some of Wall Street's most famous names plotted to replace the new liberal-minded president Franklin Delano Roosevelt with a fascist leader.

207C03 LASTThe Gift Of Democracy?20070730

This edition investigates allegations in the unpublished memoirs of a former colonial civil servant that the British tried to rig Nigeria's first democratic elections before independence in 1960.

208A01Operation Safe Haven2008012120080409

In 1948, a representative of the Dutch airline KLM asked Swiss police to ease travel restrictions for Germans travelling to Argentina.

It is claimed that this was part of a covert plan to help Nazis flee Europe following the war.

208A02* Broadcasts From The Bunker2008012820080416

At the height of the Cold War, the BBC devised a programme schedule to be transmitted in the event of a nuclear attack.

To be broadcast from the BBC's own secret bunker and featuring music, drama and comedy, the schedule was designed to boost the morale of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world.

208A03 LASTStop Pakistan2008020420080423

How close did America come to launching a pre-emptive attack in order to prevent Pakistan from becoming a nuclear power?

208C01The Doomsday Document20080911

Mike Thomson presents the series using documentary evidence to throw new light on past events.

In May 1974, the Troubles in Northern Ireland were at their height, but all eyes were on a new power-sharing arrangement.

The highly controversial Sunningdale Executive had recently taken over administration of the province.

Sensing that the Executive would not survive, Prime Minister Harold Wilson drew up a secret plan to cut Northern Ireland adrift from the rest of the UK.

208C02The Case Of The Suez Maru20080918

Mike examines the events surrounding a massacre of Allied POWs by the Japanese in 1943 and peruses the document that allowed the perperators to escape justice.

208C03 LASTBritain's Cuban Missile Crisis *20080925

In the last week of October 1962, the world famously held its breath as two superpowers teetered on the precipice of nuclear war.

The incident has gone down in history as a war of nerves between the Kremlin and the White House, but what role was the British Government playing, and what decisions was Prime Minister Harold Macmillan making on behalf of his people? How close did he bring Britain to all out nuclear war?