New documentary charts Gaunless Valley's First World War effort
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A FILM documenting the Gaunless Valley’s contribution to the First World War effort is to be shown for the first time just weeks before the centenary of the end of the conflict.
Titled In The Pink, the film has been produced by the Evenwood, Ramshaw and District History Society, which received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the project.
Society chairman Kevin Richardson said as well as covering the lives of the men who went to war, the documentary also tells of those who remained behind and what they did for the war effort.
It also tells of the Zeppelin bombing of Evenwood and local sailors who went down in the Battle of Jutland.
The Voluntary Aid detachment, where the “great and good” gave up their stately homes to be used as hospitals, is also covered.
He added that the title of the documentary comes from correspondence written by a soldier from Evenwood who died in the war.
Mr Richardson said: “We have a letter from Tommy Dunn in November 1916 where he said he was ‘in the pink’.
“He was killed in December 1916, so it is quite poignant.”
Each section of the film is narrated by a person from the area who was involved in the production of the film.
They include Bob Dixon, a serving member of the armed forces from Cockfield, county councillor Heather Smith, Jeanette Newell, chairwoman of the Gaunless Valley History Trust, Paul Simpson and Tony Anderson.
Members of the history society and others who contributed to the documentary got their first glimpse of the almost-finished film during a preview screening at Evenwood Parish Hall on Wednesday, August 22.
Mr Richardson said the aim of the preview was to see what, if anything, needed to be changed, added or removed from the film.
He said: “It went well but there are just a few little tweaks to be made.
“The filmmakers Rosie and Chris Anderson have done a cracking job.
“We have two lads who have a military background the they were both pleased with it.”
One of those at the screening was Steve Erskine, assistant curator of the Green Howards Museum, in Richmond.
Mr Richardson said: “I asked Steve to come to look at it from a military perspective. You always want someone with an independent view. He was very complimentary.”
Mr Erskine said: “What these guys are doing is phenomenal. It is not only about the military history, but also social history. They become real people not just a name on a memorial.”
The film’s premier is planned for Evenwood Parish Hall, on September 27, at 7pm.
During October and November it will be shown at various Gaunless Valley schools and community centres.