Guildford in The Great War – Article from The Guildford Dragon

The Guildford Dragon October 2014

CIRCLE EIGHT PREMIERES ‘Guildford in The Great War’

The Circle Eight Film Group premiered its latest film Guildford in the Great War’ to a full house at the Electric Theatre last Saturday and celebrated its own 50th Anniversary too.

The film is a fascinating and moving look at the town and its people during the First World War.    Narrated by Matthew Alexander, it blends lots of images from Guildford at the time with general archive film of the period.

The Circle Eight team have done a great job in producing this film about an important part of Guildford’s modern history.   Featuring local events and what was also happening on the war front across the world at the time, the film looks at how the town received the news of the outbreak of war, the men who enlisted and those who stayed behind and worked in munitions or on the land.

The film recounts the story of the Belgian refugees who fled to Guildford from their homeland in 1914, the Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and its depot at Stoughton Barracks, local military hospitals and the infamous Zeppelin raid on St Catherine’s in 1915.                                                                                   

The war memorial in the Castle Grounds and our services of remembrance are included, with a tear-jerking conclusion that recalls some of the 500 men from Guildford, who enlisted for service in France and never returned.

The Circle Eight camera crew journeyed to Flanders and the Western Front to shoot some sequences, which included the Menin Gate at Ypres in Belgium.

I think this is the best film yet that has ever been produced by Circle Eight – perhaps because I briefly feature in the film adding some historical details, having loaned some of my vintage photos and suggested a few stories.

My Great Uncle Charles Tubbs is also featured as one of the Guildford men, who paid the supreme sacrifice.   ‘Guildford in the Great War’was an excellent production which the whole audience found both informative and moving.

After the interval, the audience were treated to another new Circle Eight film – ‘Crumbs’, a comedy based on a skit that the Government had banned people from eating cakes!    Many current and former Circle Eight members feature in this short film and a number of local locations were used in the film.

That was followed by a film entitled ’50 Not Out’ presented by founder members Malcolm Bridger and Terence Patrick that looked back over the Group’s 50 year history and featured interviews at clips from Circle Eight’s many award-winning productions.

It was a night to reflect on the sadness and tough times of the Great War and to celebrate 50 years of some great local film making.