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Stanley’s War – A new film, as a 100th anniversary commemoration of the 1918 Armistice

News ArticleStanley’s War – A new film, as a 100th anniversary commemoration of the 1918 Armistice

A major drama-documentary film based on true stories of Suffolk’s First World War made by Director Tim Curtis as part of the 100th anniversary commemoration of the 1918 Armistice promoted by community group peninsula2018.org

Stanley’s War receives its world premier at a gala reception and screening at the Riverside Theatre in Woodbridge on 4th November 2018

Stanley’s War dramatises stories of love and sacrifice, following the lives of Suffolk people during WW1. The film recounts the true life-changing experiences at the Western Front of Stanley Banyard, a farm hand from Ramsholt and how he saved the lives of his comrades, lost in no-man’s land, using skills learnt as a boy from a Suffolk gamekeeper.

The film also portrays the WW1 experiences of the Pretty family, factory owners from Ipswich, including the forbidden romance between Major Frank Pretty, 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment and Edith Dempster (later Edith Pretty of Sutton Hoo fame).

The film also depicts the tragic story of Lieut. Donald Pretty, 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment who was killed in action.


The film is directed by Tim Curtis (Life On The Deben) and features a mainly Suffolk cast and film crew.

The screenplay was written by Jonathan Ruffle, creator of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Tommies’. Most of the ‘rural’ drama scenes were shot on the Wilford Peninsula. And for authenticity the battlefield scenes were shot at ‘Trench Farm’ near Ipswich where productions such as Journey’s End and Downton Abbey have also filmed WW1 scenes.

Author and broadcaster, John McCarthy, provides the narrative for the documentary parts of the film and we follow his emotional visit to the battlefields and cemeteries of Northern France where so many men lost their lives over 100 years ago.

Ipswich-based military historian, Taff Gillingham has been involved with the film from the start and has advised throughout on World War One matters

The film was commissioned by Peninsula2018.org which is a set of Wilford Peninsula community based projects to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and to raise money for the Suffolk Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Suffolk Punch Trust.

The film has been generously funded by donations from local residents, Suffolk County Council and the Scarfe Trust.

Details about the film Premier can be found at www.peninsula2018.org and tickets can be purchased from www.theriverside.co.uk/programme_detail.php?id=1136

The ‘Stanley’s War’ cinema trailer can be found here