Time to Remember: S1 Ep6: "1916: The Better Hole".
This stock footage makes grim viewing, whilst not unpleasant but giving a harsh reality of trench warfare as its most vile, whereas not so much archive material but being historical film memoirs, in part during 1916, of a time when the world was at war, from 28th July 1914 to 11th November 1918. We see the common soldiery surviving, suffering the water-filled, rat-infested trenches of Europe, the deserts of the Middle-East and beyond; marching ankle high in squalid, unhealthy settings of mud and death.
We see the British propaganda of pomp and ceremony of flag waving, crowd cheering pageants and support of the British Empire among the streets of England and the appreciation of the returning soldier by dignitaries and alike. It is all part & parcel of the industry of conflict, all necessary in keeping with the flow of this perpetual war. Such a short film it may be that contains more than sufficient legitimacy to drive the message home of its horrors, its dead carrion rotting in the fields, its relentless waste of human life.
"1916: The Better Hole", (the hole referring to a foxhole, bombed-out piece of land or trench that soldiers would hide, take cover for self-preservation; Find a better hole and your chance of survival may broaden) is essentially an anti-war film that depicts war, for the common soldier, stating from both sides, as a purely wasteful experience and meaningless endeavour.
Filmed with a narrative of a view of a Man who has experience and on hearing his accurate viewpoint of what war, and how war can only bring disenchantment in its purpose. We hear his account of a telling of foreboding and recognition of the consequences of warfare and its ripple effects, its butterfly effect, of a wider stance within its realm both on the field and at home.
It is all very dark in its message, and rightfully so, the images of this Great War packs no quarter and the verbal narrative, by English actor Stanley Holloway (1890 - 1982) ("This Happy Breed" (1944), "Passport to Pimlico" (1949) and "The Lavender Hill Mob" (1951)) asks for no pity or forgiveness. This is a Man who has come home and has seen a wider world and all its fortitude of his fellow men falling on the way-side on the battle fields of Europe; time to cry havoc the dogs of war and let slip the atrocities of mutilation and death.
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