A remarkable reminder of the sacrifices made for us each, this series features a deeply moving presentation of war chaplains who, without weapons, put themselves on the front line in the face of danger out of their love for their fellow man.
In this four part historical documentary series, Producer and Director – Gary Wilkinson, takes a look at the invaluable work of chaplains during World War One. It was a time where the battle was fierce, the suffering horrible and survival was unsure. The type of man required to be a war chaplain had to be one of selfless courage, confidence and compassion, willing to lay his life on the line to care for his friends.
As we are lead through the trenches of France and Gallipoli, this series takes a look at the determination and persistence of the chaplains to be allowed on the front line where they would be needed the most. Knowing that many would not return and of the risks that lay ahead of them, their dedication to their men was foremost on their minds and, although they went into battle as non-combatants unable to defend themselves, this is where they felt they were meant to be. The depth of courage they must have had is astounding.
The stories of the dangerous situations these men encountered are impacting. Stories such as a chaplain lying on the ground to comfort a man suffocating in mud; chaplains running on to the fields amongst thick bullet fire to rescue the wounded; chaplains standing by the men in battle; praying with them; counseling them and comforting them. These are just a few of the many ways war chaplains were able to assist the soldiers.
This series also highlights the positive supporting role of religious organisations and societies such as the YMCA, The Salvation Army and Scripture Gift Mission along with others. These groups set up camps and supplies to minister to the emotional, spiritual and mental needs of the troops while also providing recreation in the form of sport, games and comradeship.
A source of comfort, the chaplains brought the word of God to the soldiers, providing Bibles small enough to fit in their uniform pockets. Miraculously, these bibles sometimes stopped bullets from penetrating the soldiers, and it is fascinating to see the images of these.
The stories of survival, as well as sacrifice, will take you into a realm where many unsung heroes brought to the fields of war the love of God and a light of hope in the most practical of ways in the midst of hellish circumstances.
From the first to the fourth episode, each part builds upon the previous with interesting historical facts and insights into the lives of a group of humble heroes. If you enjoy history or documentaries, make sure you put this feature of World War 1 Military Chaplains in your diary.