Board Games of the First World War


Could you play a board game about the First World War, during the First World War?

In this episode Jessica, Chris and Angus talk to Holly Nielsen (PhD student at Royal Holloway, London) about board games during the First World War. As a result we learn about games converted into wartime themes, the benefits of the war to the British toy industry, the dangers of channelling the dead in a superstitious household, and what’s leapt to the top of Jessica’s ‘wish list’.


Owen Davies, A Supernatural War: Magic, Divination, and Faith During the First World War. OUP, 2018
Krom (T. J. Edwards, 1916)   
Recruiting for Kitchener’s Army (Valentines & Sons, c.1914)
The Dash to Berlin (BritishIndoor Games Company, September 1914)  The Game of the Way to Berlin (Children’s Magazine, December 1914) 
The ‘Strand’ War Game (The ‘Strand’ Magazine, 1916)

Other episodes

Popular Films

What themes unite better-known films about the First World War?

Obscure Films

What makes a First World War film ‘obscure’?

The Christmas Truce of 1914

How do you portray a moment of peace during the First World War when it’s not always clear what actually happened?