4 Kernels for Content
5 Stars for Bravery
Yeah, yeah, I know most of you don’t like documentaries. This one is a little bit different because it’s a well-acted re-enactment of three significant events for the British Army during World War I. The episodes are based on written accounts by the soldiers who lived and survived to tell their stories and the men with which they served.
What can say about it? It’s emotional. It’s heartwrenching. It’s shocking. Well done, except for the oddity of the rock music in some of the scenes. The series actually puts you — the viewer — into the battles as if you were with the men and hearing the bullets whiz by your head. The tension prior to and in engagement with the enemy is palpable. Perhaps that is why this program will undoubtedly leave an impression on you. And if you lost distant cousins in the war like I did — six of them the ages of 18 to 42 — you will appreciate their sacrifice and you will draw closer to their memory as the young lads who served their country.
The first episode focuses on the first day that the British army encounters the German army in August 1914. Unprepared for the onslaught of Germans and their brutal advance, it’s difficult to watch the slaughter. The second episode is about the Manchester Pals, as they called them, who served at Somme. A few of my cousins were from Manchester. The third episode is about the invention of the tank, and how the British turned the tide of the war toward victory by these new machines.
As a caution before you watch, you might find the lads extremely difficult to understand with the myriad of different British accidents, along with Irish and Scottish. Hang in there and don’t surrender. Keep calm and carry on through the end.
If you possess a soul, you might end up a bit tearful watching this series. As the trailer says, “Modern warfare is brutal. 100 years ago it was unimaginable.”