Friday 16 November 2018
"They shall not grow old"
A hugely impressive achievement.
Yesterday evening, on the train home from work after a particularly trying day (although not trying in a WW1 trench being shot at and shelled kind of way!), I watched the second half of Peter Jackson's WW1 documentary - They shall not grow old'.
There is not a great deal I can say about it other than by turns it was heroic, awful, horrific, honest, down-to-earth, funny even, in a gallows humour kind of way - but above all a testimony to the bottomless wellspring of the human spirit.
The colourisation was quite breathtaking and for me really served to bring the full catastrophe to life; far removed from the blurry, black and white images and jerky footage one usually sees.
Although my interest in the Great War tends to shy away from the Western Front (accepting 1914 and 1918) this is a compelling argument for paying it more attention in the future.
As for the title of the documentary I could do more than than quote the poem from which is was taken.
Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914.