A NEW documentary will beam a spotlight on the legacy of the Blackpool soldiers who lost their lives in World War I.
The Frameworks Films production Blackpool to the Front will be screened in the Reel Picture, Blackpool this Saturday at 11am. It highlights the stories of a number of local men who fought in World War One. Based on the book by the same name penned by Blackpool resident Mark Cronin, the documentary introduces viewers to Blackpool at the outbreak of the war.
Military historian Gerry White played a key role in the project which will see audiences transported back to the start of the 20th century. The documentary also features some of the relatives of soldiers, many of whom travelled to France and Belgium to visit some of the places where their relatives had fought and, in some cases, died.
Part of the footage includes the Foret de Mormal in northern France where Denis Jones, the last man from Blackpool to die in World War I, was killed. Highlights of the film include the touching moment two sapling trees are presented by forestry officials to his niece Eileen Jones and members of the Blackpool Historical Society.
The film’s producer Emma Bowell added: “I think this has been a really important project for the people of Blackpool, particularly for those who had the chance to travel to France to see where their relatives had fought and died. They were amazed at just how much French people appreciated what their relatives had done for them.”
Frameworks Films, a Cork-based production company, collaborated with the Blackpool Historical Society for the initiative. It will be broadcast on December 15 on Cork Community Television which is available on Channel 803 on Virgin Media’s digital cable package and streamed live on www.corkcommunitytv.ie.
Blackpool to the Front was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland under their Sound and Vision Scheme. While the Blackpool screening is predominantly for those involved in the film, a number of places are available for those with an interest in the subject matter. They can be booked by contacting Frameworks Films on 021-4211010.