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Title:PEOPLE AT WAR - A SEAMAN'S STORY [Main Title]
Film Number:COI 107
Other titles:A SEAMAN'S STORY [Alternative Title]
Summary: The courage and service of the British merchant seaman, typified by the story of a Newfoundlander who had been torpedoed four times, related in an interview in his room as he packs for a new trip.
Description: After an opening convoy sequence, the film concentrates on the seaman (who is never named) and his interviewer, with occasional illustrative use of stills and stock shots, and interruptions by a commentator. Torpedoed first in the Spanish Civil War, second time in 1940 on the tanker 'Imperial Transport' which broke in two, the crew successfully bringing the stern section 300 miles back to England; after 2 years on coastal ships the seaman joined a liner in time to be torpedoed the third time on the way back from South America and to suffer 20 days in an open lifeboat before being picked up by a Portuguese ship. The fourth torpedo sunk the ship in which survivors of the third were being transferred to Gibraltar. Film ends with an encouraging epilogue from the commentator "the other side of the story is one of victory."
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Realist (Production company)
Taylor, John Elston1914-10-051992-09-15 (Production individual)
Jeakins, A E (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Merchant Navy, Newfoundland personnel (regiment/service)
Keywords: Atlantic Ocean (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: None
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 2
Footage: 1272 ft; Running time: 14 mins
Notes: The seaman featured in the film has been identified as Cyril Jardine, whose record shows he was indeed 'sunk' four times:
ENGISH TANKER - Spanish Civil War – bombed and sunk off Alicante 6.6.1938.
IMPERIAL TRANSPORT – WW2 – Torpedoed 11.2.1940.
AVILA STAR – WW2 – Torpedoed 6.7.1942.
PENROSE – WW2 – Torpedoed 3.9.1942.
Cyril Jardine R189472 from St Johns, Newfoundland. Information provided by Hugh Maclean 03/04/17 (HU)
Remarks: good piece of traditional muted heroism - but is it all authentic? Everything reported happened (see eg, Illustrated London News of 9/iii/40 & 8/viii/42), but all to one man? It does ring true though.