2nd Lieutenant William Harrison Crowder, 2nd Lt William Crowder, 51st Highland Division, Adam Fox, Bombardier Baillie, German Spring Offensive, Great War, Nick Loven, Tell Them of Us, WW1, WW1 centenary, WW1 Film
Two weeks ago we filmed the first part of William Crowder’s first hand account of the German Spring Offensive. On duty in a front line trench and in charge of communications, William was awarded the DSO for his courage in keeping the line open.
Here are some of the screen captures from filming by cinematographer and director, Nick Loven.
1918 Spring Offensive, 2nd Lieutenant William Harrison Crowder, 51st Division, 51st Highland Division, Adam Fox, Bombardier Baillie, First World War, First World War film, German Spring Offensive, Great War, Horncastle, Kaiserschlach
Today, March the 21st, is the 97th anniversary of the most critical twenty four hours in William Crowder’s life as he is caught up in the German Spring Offensive, Kaiserschlacht. Follow our Kickstarter campaign for updates.
Part One: The Battle Commences
Part Two: 21st March 1918, Spring Offensive begins
Part Three: 21st March 1918, Spring Offensive
The Kickstarter campaign is to create a drama-documentary of William’s story. Please donate to help us tell this story – we have more than half the target sum so we might make it!
2nd Lieutenant William Harrison Crowder, 51st Highland Division, Adam Fox, Baillie family history, Bombardier Baillie, First World War, First World War film, Great War, Indie Filmmakers, Kaiserschlacht, Nick Loven, Spring Offensive 1918, Tell Them of Us
Our 2014 WWI film ‘Tell Them of Us’, is the true story of one Lincolnshire family, made to commemorate the outbreak of WWI. Their story was told from the home front and the perspective of those left behind. It is now available on DVD.
One story remained untold however; what happened to William Crowder at the front which resulted in him receiving the Distinguished Service Order. The DSO was awarded to an officer for acts of gallantry under attack; so what exactly happened to William? Fortunately we have an account of his experience of the Kaiserschlacht and it is one of the most arresting and visually compelling WWI narratives I have read.
We are planning a documentary with some dramatised scenes. William was attached to the 51st Highland Division and his three telephonists were all Scottish. We are still casting for these roles – especially that of Bombardier Baillie below.
Here is the link to the crowdfunding campaign, William’s Story – please help support us if you can.
As part of our research into William Crowder’s WWI story we are trying to identify Bombardier Baillie from this photograph and to trace his family.
Bombardier Baillie was part of the telephonist team, under William Crowder’s command, in Gosling forward observation post when the German Spring Offensive began 21st March 1918. All the men were captured by the advancing Germans but we understand that Baillie was one of the few to return from PoW camp after WWI. Both Bombardier Baillie and 2nd Lieutenant William Harrison Crowder were in the Royal Artillery, attached to the 51st Highland Regiment. It is likely that Baillie was Scottish.
Please contact us if you have any information.
We are hoping to complete this WW1 commemorative film project by making a number of small documentaries one of which, on the knitted costume, has already been recorded. Most importantly, we plan to film a drama-documentary to tell the story of William Crowder as this is not covered by the film.
The account of the events surrounding the battle in which William Crowder received a DSO is one of the most arresting and visually compelling of any account I have read. Recreating this will be extraordinary.
We will also include some behind the scenes material and research stories. These will be all added to the DVD of the film for release later next year.
Interview-based documentary work is, in contrast to filming drama, relatively inexpensive. However, to film the short drama sequence will be costly. It will involve set building, pyrotechnics, a large costumed cast, experienced crew and complex post-production work. We are looking at funding now and will be running another Kickstarter campaign soon.