The Armed Forces Fund* was very fortunate to be chosen as one of four charities to be supported at the world premiere of Another Mother’s Son, held at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square on Thursday 16th March. Guests mingled with the stars of the film including Jenny Seagrove, Ronan Keating, Amanda Abbington, John Hannah and Susan Hampshire and young actor Julian Kostov,as well as many other famous celebrities and television personalities and the evening was also attended by 30 soldiers from the Grenadier and Scots Guards.
The composer of the film’s music score, Mario Grigorov, played beautifully to the audience as they found their seats and Bill Kenwright,Producer of the film, introduced the cast as well as the author of the original story, Jenny Lecoat, who is the great niece of the main character, Louisa Gould.
Another Mother’s Son tells the true story of Louisa Gould, a largely unsung heroine of the Second World War. Under the rule of history’s most evil regime, and abandoned by Churchill on the brink of the war, The Channel Islanders were the first to experience life under the Third Reich. Jersey became something of a prison island, where captured POW’s (particularly from Russia) were bought and forced to build an Atlantic Wall, a huge concrete fortification to defend the islands from British counter attack. British citizens who were not born on the island were sent to Germany.
Louisa Gould, a simple shop keeper charged with delivering the dwindling rations to her undernourished community, learns that one of her sons has been killed in battle. At the same time a young POW escapes from the German prison camp, and Louisa feels compelled to look after him – a Russian POW. Despite her family’s protests, she believes that this is the right thing to do and that 'any mother would do the same'. German paranoia and oppression increases with the escalation of war, and with it the solidarity of the islanders begins to fall apart. Lou’s family learn that neighbours are turning on each other in exchange for food and other privileges from the German regime. Against this backdrop, Louisa fights for her family and the protection of Bill as if he were her own son – it is viewed by many as acting in far too cavalier a way in such troubled circumstances. If Louisa’s secret is uncovered, it will not only be her but her entire family who suffers…
The audience were truly moved by this incredible tale of such courage, love and determination. As the final scene closed there was a stunned silence as everyone considered the bravery and suffering that had been endured and how much the islanders had gone through.
We hope to have raised over £3,000 for the Fund and are very grateful to Bill Kenwright and the producers for the opportunity to be involved.
*The Armed Forces Fund:
Working in conjunction with Radley College and Downe House School, St Mary’s Calne is fundraising to support the education of children of armed forces personnel of any rank who have been killed or wounded in current conflict. The children who benefit from The Armed Forces Fund will attend either Radley College, Downe House or St Mary’s Calne, and The Armed Forces Fund is one of St Mary’s Calne’s main school charities. Approximately 50% of the ticket price for each ticket sold on behalf of this charity was donated to the Fund.