AMHERST – There will be 250 seats in the Amherst Armoury Friday night, and a local-born filmmaker would love to see them filled.
A screening of The Fighting North Novies: Into the Fire will take place tomorrow. Admission is free and the doors open at 6:30. The half-hour documentary tracks the North Nova regiment from the beaches inland to Tilly la Campaigne, including the fighting that took place at Authie.
“That’s where 84 of our guys were killed,” said Allen Cameron, director and producer of the piece.
Cameron started working on what he hopes will be part one of a six-part series back in 2010. The final product – the DVD will be on sale at the screening for $25 – was completed three weeks ago. He interviewed about 15 veterans. Two of the soldiers who were part of his research passed away before they could see the final film.
It was a personal journey for the filmmaker. Despite having no military background, his early interest in history, coupled with family stories, motivated him to embark on the project. His great uncle, Ernest ‘Moose’ Glenmore Hill was just 23 when he fought and died with the North Novies – a bren gunner killed by German machine gun fire.
“I want it to be a veteran appreciation night,” said Cameron.
The director was accompanied by a veteran when he stopped by the news office. George Manthorne is much too young to have seen action against Germany, but he served 13 years with the regiment. The retired soldier admitted his bias upfront, then declared the North Novies the most storied regiment in the Canadian military.
“I think it’s great that he’s documenting (what they went through),” said Manthorne.
Young people can benefit from understanding what an old-timer in line at the coffee shop went through all those years ago, according to the veteran.
“These are the heroes we should be honouring,” he said.