A Sacred Place - Time for Remembrance (DVD)
This touching film comprises personal accounts from veterans who clashed in the First World War. This is the final time their voices were heard. It looks at the effect of the war on regular soldiers and how the act of remembrance industrialised after the war.
Made over 20 years ago, this emotional film, while trying to answer such queries, is focused around what was to be the final journey of World War One veterans to the cemeteries and battlefields of Belgium and Northern France. It also looks at the experiences of the soldiers and what they felt on their return to civilian life.
It was the First World War, with its horrendous scale of fatalities, which altered our attitude to remembrance. Previously, with a few allowances, such as during the American Civil War, the fallen were buried in mass graves on the field of battle and the cruelty of the war forgotten as swiftly as possible. Nowadays no village green or town square throughout the commonwealth and much of Europe and the world, too is without its memorial erected in the early 1920s and devoted to the dead of the First World War. The lengthy lists of names in some of the lowest communities (and the youthfulness of those commemorated) determine the personal sacrifice and after 1945 these same memorials were re-dedicated, with new names added, to the dead of the Second World War.
The film includes some extraordinary archive footage, as well as recordings of songs from the period, in addition an exclusive recording of Laurence Olivier appraisal Laurence Binyonâ€™s well-known poem 'For the Fallen'.
Churchill said of the Ypres Salient "A more sacred place for the British race does not exist in the world."