They Shall Not Grow Old

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homesteader

New member
Jun 7, 2019
23
11
Recently I viewed the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old (2018). It is restored and colorized film footage of British soldiers in WW I. Lots of smoking by soldiers, mostly cigarettes, but a lot of pipe smokers were in there too. They even discuss at one point getting tobacco to the troops, and donations of tobacco.
I would recommend this movie. It is narrated by audio recordings of veterans of that war, and a lot of study went into the accuracy colorizing it.


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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,076
1,905
My wife's dad was late to fatherhood after serving in World War One and much of his life he struggled with after-effects of poison gas exposure in the trenches. So she was particularly interested to see this film as soon as it was available to us, and I was starkly impressed with its sources and the effort to colorize and present the material so it would register with current viewers. Various aspects still echo in my head, one of which was the reaction of front line troops to the armistice. Rather than feel elation and celebration, many felt a strange sense of letdown and purposelessness, they had been so psyched and ready to give their all. It's an amazing documentary and well worth seeing from time to time. We saw this after seeing an excellent WWI exhibition at N.C. Museum of History, with recordings, a facsimile of a trench line, arrays of weapons and equipment from various nations on both sides, really a spectacular effort to remember that war. There are many wonderful stories of my wife's dad Charlie, called Happy as a boy, and remarkably upbeat all sixty-some years of his life despite his war disabilities. After the war he was in a works project program for vets and won a pancake eating contest that was in the news nationally. At Vets Hospitals he met and spent time with Bess Truman and Abbott and Costello. When in service, he met General Pershing who greeted him as a fellow Missourian. Charlie had quite a life with such a difficult start.
 

condorlover1

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2013
3,750
789
New York
I saw the film and it made quite an impression on me. As I have remarked elsewhere since my Father was a lot older than most of my contemporaries parents pretty much everyone one on his side fought in that war. As a result I grew up surrounded by Uncles for whom the Somme and Thiepval were events that were relatively fresh to them even if it had been 60 years ago. Growing up everyone had an Auntie who had lost a brother in the Great War. I remember well my Auntie Mary always going on about her brother Bert who was killed at Thiepval and is listed as having no known grave. He was studying to be a doctor and wound up getting blown to bits by a German shell. He was one of the unlucky ones as a surprising number of my lot made it through that war and were still kicking around in the early 1980s.
 

blues4goose

Member
May 15, 2019
119
138
Various aspects still echo in my head, one of which was the reaction of front line troops to the armistice. Rather than feel elation and celebration, many felt a strange sense of letdown and purposelessness, they had been so psyched and ready to give their all.
What struck me the most was how many of those interviewed seemed to enjoy the experience overall. I remember one even saying that he would do it all over again if he could.