How’s it Going, Lads?

By | October 27, 2019

[October 27, 2019]  Yesterday, I got to see the film They Shall Not Grow Old for free on one of the Comcast channels.  Just over a year ago, I wrote a short article on the film and how Director Peter Jackson has brought back to life old footage from World War I, found in the British Imperial War Museum’s archives.  I enjoyed watching how Director Jackson was able to help us all relate to the soldiers that fought a terrible war 100 years ago.

I’ve always admired the British soldiers and sailors.  Tales of great battles against overwhelming odds; the heroism, comradeship, stiff-upper-lip stuff all made my journey through childhood that much more colorful.  Hearing about the “Brits” during World War II from my uncles was one of the bright spots of my memories of them.

Great leadership, bravery, sticking to it, fear, determination, and sportsmanship were part of the many stories I listened to for many years.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons I finally joined the U.S. Army and finally got my commission as an officer.  I want to think that films like this and my uncles’ stories were a positive influence on me.  Yes, they were.  I wanted to be a good person like I believed they were.  A good soldier I wanted to be with character and honor.

More than a decade ago, I was working for a British Major General who was in charge of the Multi-National Corps’ support effort in Iraq.  Every single day that my team and I met with him, he would give us a big “how’s it going lads?” greeting.  A big smile, tolerance of our American aggressiveness, and lack of patience, mentorship, and friendship made my second combat tour of duty in that war tolerable.

From my childhood to those times in Iraq, I have had high regard for the British Army and its history.  The British General gave us insight into how the British military had not just survived but had grown during the Empire years.  One thing did surprise me, and that was his view that the Empire’s growth was not at the expense of native populations but to their benefit.  The Brits brought modern medical techniques and advanced engineering to countries that much needed it.

This film gives us a little dash of the reality of war on the front line.  It is much easier to relate to those soldiers of the Great War when we see them in the original film corrected for frame-rate, colorization, and proper narration.  This technological improvement has elicited a big reaction from viewers.  It brings home the visual that young teenage soldiers, fighting this war so long ago, looked like any person in any city in 21st Century Britain.

If you get an opportunity to see the film, please do so.  Like many of us, we might have had our grandfathers or great-grandfathers in that war.  We just got a peek at what they went through, and I think that is a good idea.  How’s it going, lads?

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

14 thoughts on “How’s it Going, Lads?

  1. Nick Lighthouse

    Unless you’ve been to war AND fought in battles where the enemy is eyeball to eyeball with you, then you don’t really know war. Films such as this only gives us a tiny taste. But, I believe, better the tiny piece of the pie than none at all.

  2. Sadako Red

    Let’s not overlook how important this video is for all the liberal-progressive-socialist-SJWs. It shows the horrors of war. But it also shows that it was MEN who were in the battles, not women. It shows that they were nearly all WHITE, not black. They were not TRANS or BI or any other weird sexual orientation and they didn’t dress in PINK or bright colors. I don’t see any SJWs of that ilk trying to storm the shores of Normandy or fight in the jungles of Vietnam. Where are they when the real war starts? Hiding in their basement peeing on themselves.

      1. Gil Johnson

        👍 I too love the hard-hitting, smack ’em where it hurts, kind of comments from SR. I’m a big fan from the beginning and would like to see more articles. Thank you, SR for making my day!!!!!

    1. Terri Issa

      Just FYI…remember it was the WOMEN working in the factories and on the farms that ENABLED the men to go into battle. It was the WOMEN that kept the home fires burning and nursed the returning wounded. ALL worked for victory over evil! A very good BBC series is “The War Time Farm”…it shows the incredible sacrifices the Brits made during the war.

  3. Eric Coda

    I wish that I’d had known my grandfather. He was a tank commander in the US army in WW2. The things I could have learned. Wow, should have had the chance to visit his grave-site in Belgium but couldn’t go (can’t afford it). But our family is proud of him and his comrades for what they did in Europe during the war. Films, such as this one, helps remind us of the sacrifice given.

    1. Janna Faulkner

      Thank you for your family’s service to our nation. Don’t forget that there are still combat veterans out there from the war and are willing to talk. You have to find them because most are infirm and can no longer get around.
      If nothing else, go to a VFW.

  4. JT Patterson

    I learned something new about you Gen. Satterfield. Like so many senior military leaders, their years as a young boy (or girl) helped pushed them toward military service. And, successful service at that. From movies to talking with veterans to reading about battles, all forms in our minds a picture of how to serve honorably and nobly. Great stuff here.

  5. The Kid 1945

    Great film from a technical viewpoint. I liked it more from the comments of combat vets of WW1.

    1. Georgie B.

      I agree. They actually had taped the comments from WWI veterans (nearly all British) and that was used as most of the background. I watched the film twice because I didn’t want to miss what they had to say.

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