Writeup on the Film ‘Beneath Hill 60’

September 24, 2016

Naturalism Film

The 2010dvd ‘Beneath Hill 60’ conveysthe realaccount of severalsoldierswith the 1st Australian Tunnellers headed by Captain Oliver Woodward CMG MC and two bars. In the dvd, Woodward is portrayed by Brendan Cowell. He was a miner and metallurgist from Australia and had not joined up likenumerous other adult menfrom thearea had done. He was considered to be important to stay hometo aid the war effort and due to this fact, he had been sentmany white feathers. It wasfrequentback thenfor individualsto present white feathers to the peoplewho they regarded as cowards.

Hill 60 lies on the southern section of the Ypres Salient and it was not a natural feature. The hill was created with soil dug outto produce anearby railway cutting. A handful ofsignificantactionsoccurred at Hill 60 during both World War I and World War II. During oneevening in 1915, 4 Victoria Crosses were awarded as a German attack was effectively fought off.

The filmhighlights the events at the beginning of the Battle of Messines in 1917. 19 mines with aroundhalf a millionkgs of explosives were explodedprior to thebeginning of the assault. The storycentres around the exploits of Woodward and his companyshowingjust what the tunneller companies needed togo through, an element ofwarfare that receiveslittlecoverage.

Woodward is put in command of a company and sets an example all through the build-upprior to theattackaround Ypres. The attackcommences in the small hours of the morning when Woodward fires the mine his soldiers have spent the previous weeks putting in place and defending.

Soon after the war, Woodward returns to Australia to wed his young sweetheart who had begged him not tojoin up.

‘Beneath Hill 60’ is a really gooddvd which conveys the story of amongst the most frighteningparts of the Western Front. The tunnellers on both sides had to operate in horrible conditions understanding the enemy could very well be onlyfeet away preparing to either blow up their tunnel or break in and startfiring.

Rob Atherton
www.RobAtherton.com

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