Signing Up At 16

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Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01The Shock Of Capture20130513

A revealing series following a group of 16 year old boys and girls, through a year of training at The Army Foundation College, Harrogate.

This programme charts the first six weeks of training - the hardest phase when the teenagers experience 'the shock of capture' and have to learn to adapt to their new army regime of strict discipline, early starts, limited contact with home and little free time.

It's physically and mentally hard, they are homesick and tired, and not all make it thorough.

Britain has the youngest army in Europe, and reporter Penny Marshall wonders what it takes to turn teenagers into soldiers who are physically and mentally ready to fight, and even to die, for their country.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

02The Realities Of War20130520

Episode 2 (of 3)

Reporter Penny Marshall follows the experiences of a group of 16 year old boys and girls as they undergo a year of training at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate.

As the Junior Soldiers embark on their Realities of War training, Penny considers just how easy it is for a 16 year old to truly grasp the realities of war. They visit the Imperial War Museum in London and the military cemetery at Brookwood to learn more about the realities of the job they have signed up to do.

Yet the hardest lesson comes from real life, when six young soldiers are killed on active service in Afghanistan in March 2012.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

03 LASTGraduation And The Future20130527

A revealing series following a group of 16 year old boys and girls, through a year of training at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate.

The Junior Soldiers are tested on their final field exercise in Scotland before they graduate and start their new army careers. For some, the front line is a matter of months away.

These young recruits can't legally drive a car or cast a vote, yet they are being trained to handle a rifle. No other European country allows its citizens to join the army so young and reporter Penny Marshall finds out why the British Army recruits at 16.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.