Lights, camera, action for Caistor pupil in commemorative Lincolnshire war film

Jessica Wall with other members of the cast and Crowders family EMN-141108-153634001
Jessica Wall with other members of the cast and Crowders family EMN-141108-153634001

Caistor Primary pupil Jessica Wall has been selected to play an important role in a film about how the First World War affected a Lincolnshire family.

Jessica, aged 8, will play Grace Crowder as a child in a flashback scene in the historic and poignant film “Tell Them of Us” by Lincolnshire based production company Wagscreen.

The film is based on the experiences of Robert and 
William Crowder of the Crowder family who have farmed in the area since 1798. The family now own a garden centre in Horncastle. The film will tell the brothers’ stories from the frontline of WWI and then follow the lives of those left behind.

Filming started in January this year and the premier will be shown at The Collection in Lincoln in November. It is being directed and filmed by Nick Loven and produced by Pauline Loven and John Bennett.

The other main stars include Victoria Rigby as the adult Grace and Susan Thorpe, Adam James Fielding and Reece Ackerman. A member of the Crowder family, Robert Holland, who is William’s grandson, will play the Colonel in the film.

Jessica was chosen partly for her striking vermilion hair, the colour of which the Crowder children had in real life. On August 4, the centenary of the start of the war, she met up with two boys with similar Crowder-red hair: Alexander Bruce, who will play Robert and Nat Mepham, who will play William.

Scenes were shot at Thimbleby and at one of the Crowder family homes in Baumber.

Robert Holland related how the Crowder family heard first that their son Robert was killed in action and then that his brother, William, was missing in action.

For a few long weeks they feared that they had lost both their sons but eventually William returned home.

The experience of war and the loss of his brother however had a profound effect on William who was then determined to live the rest of his life to the full.

Though William rarely spoke of the war, in the last few years of his life academic Peter Liddle asked him to make a record of his experiences.