About 900,000 soldiers from Britain and the British colonies died in the First World War. That’s the equivalent of ten Wembley Stadiums, packed to the rafters.
This three-minute film, produced by Ember Television, tells the story of one of them, Private Frank Pearman, who was killed, missing in action at the Battle of Arras, on 3rd May 1917 — one hundred years ago today.
There was nothing particularly remarkable about him. Aged 33 when he died, Frank was a shopkeeper from Saltley in Birmingham, married with two small daughters. He was also my great-grandfather.
Perhaps now more than ever, at a time when nationalism, once again, is rearing its ugly ahead around the globe, it’s important to remember men like Frank, who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.
We in the West have now enjoyed more than 70 years of relative peace and prosperity. Ours truly is the lucky generation. But let’s not forget: it came at a huge price.