About the Show
August 1914, two weeks after the First World War was declared. 80,000 British troops have arrived in southern Belgium, but they have yet to engage the enemy. Lieutenant Maurice Dease and his friend, Australian Lieutenant Fred Steele, command two companies of riflemen and machine gunners who find themselves camping overnight at Nimy Bridge, the northernmost point of the Mons-Conde Canal. Surrounding the town of Mons, this canal supports 18 bridges stretched along 20 miles of water - but everyone expects to be crossing those bridges in the morning. Overnight, however, intelligence reports that the Germans may be closer than thought, and the Royal Engineers are ordered to start preparing the bridges for demolition. What happens next, on Sunday 23 August, tests the soldiers' skill, courage and ingenuity to the absolute limit, leading to the first Victoria Crosses of the First World War. Not everyone will make it through the First Day. Part 1 of 3.