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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

'Went the Day Well?' village war memorial


Mark Hone

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I recently watched the wartime Ealing Studios drama 'Went the Day Well?' for the first time. Over the years, I think that I've seen most of the major British films made during the Second World War but somehow I'd missed this one. I knew that it was about a group of German paratroopers disguised in British uniforms,  who take over a sleepy English village as part of the preparations for a Nazi invasion and that it was one of the main inspirations for 'The Eagle Has Landed'. By coincidence , I chose a good time to watch it, at Whitsun, as it is set over the Whit weekend of 1942. As I had read, it is amazingly brutal in places for a film of that era. It has a script by Graham Greene with a musical score by William Walton, features many of the familiar British 1940s and 1950s Film Repertory Company and is well worth watching. Anyway, about half way through, the German commander takes the spokesman for the villagers out of the Parish Church, where most of the people are being held captive, supposedly to give him his orders. Little do the inhabitants of Bramley End realise that the esteemed local squire, (played by Leslie Banks, who was badly wounded in the Great War) is in fact a traitor. The two confer beside the Great War memorial on the outside wall of the church and the names of some of the men commemorated are clearly visible. At first I thought that this might be the genuine memorial of the village of Turville in Buckinghamshire, where most of the locations were shot but a look at the internet indicates that the real village has a free-standing obelisk-style memorial. I made a note of the names that were visible, as follows:

Pte J.A. Arrowsmith, Pte A. K. Averill, Sgt. T.C. Bamford, Lieut R.M. Cort, Pvt. S.T. Dack, Maj I.G. K. Frazer, Cpl. T.D. Haines, Sgt J.B.A. Imrie, Col. E.B. Kingsley. There are some others , including a man called Templeman, but unfortunately the phoney 'Major Hammond' stands in front of them for all but a fleeting moment in the scene. I tried a quick search on CWGC but couldn't find any of them so my initial view is that it is a prop and the names were invented. I wonder who they are: members of the film's technical crew perhaps? I really must get out more in the glorious weather we're having!

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The memorial was a film prop. Not sure about the names though. This was also the location for The Vicar Of Dibley.

turville.jpg.1952182e543895285214a5b9274a8ab4.jpg114021526_turville2.jpg.9670baf37b85fad3c0648efa4432c263.jpg

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Common to see them in date order (of death)

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