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To Serve Them All My Days 

David Powlett-Jones has just returned to England from the trenches of WWI. He was injured and shell-shocked and, after a spell in hospital he gets a job teaching in a boys boarding school ... See full summary »

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1981   1980  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete series cast summary:
Alan MacNaughtan ...
Patricia Lawrence ...
Neil Stacy ...


David Powlett-Jones has just returned to England from the trenches of WWI. He was injured and shell-shocked and, after a spell in hospital he gets a job teaching in a boys boarding school in S.W. England. He is not at all sure he can do the job, but the avuncular headmaster has faith in him. David, although well educated, is just a humble lad from the Welsh valleys at heart and has to fit himself and his ideas into the heart of the English establishment. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

10 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una vida a su servicio  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(13 parts)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


At the start of Episode 6, after David learns the sad news about Beth and the twins, he walks outside to an isolated part of the school grounds, is eventually joined by Howarth, and then walks off alone to the nearby moors. What transpires so smoothly on film was actually recorded over several months. The scene with Howarth was shot in March, the scene on the moors in mid-May and the scene with David receiving news of the accident in June. Part of the problem was that the school used for the film was in Dorset, which doesn't have moors. Those were found in Devon. See more »


Several times, the length of David's tie changes between indoor and outdoor scenes in the same sequence. Example: Episode 8 opens with David walking back to Bamfylde early in the morning. His tie ends well above his belt. When David arrives at his house and talks with Molyneux, David's tie extends below his belt. From there, David goes outdoors to meet Algy and Brigadier Cooper, and his tie is once again short. See more »


[talking about the death of Alcock]
Howarth: That's that, and I hope to God nobody asks me to comment. The thing I find hardest to tolerate is hypocrisy, especially when it takes the form of a sentimental regard for the dead just because they *are* dead. To hear some people talk, you'd think dying was limited to the chosen few.
See more »


There's a Long, Long Trail
Music by Zo Elliott
Words by Stoddard King
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User Reviews

28 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

To Serve Them All My Days, really is a powerfully moving series and, like most film and television surrounding wars, speaks powerfully about its subject while keeping it firmly embedded in a tale appealing to those on either side of the fence.

The first episodes, depicting the young, limping shellshocked soldier David Powlett-Jones arriving at Bamfylde, and slowly making his way, growing stronger and forging bonds while earning respect with the students are powerful and moving.

If the later episodes involving romance, marriage and political machinations of the school system become a tad "soap operatic" - the same can be said of the best series today (The Sopranos, Dead Like Me, etc.) - and like those, the level of acting and commitment to the telling of the story at hand is impressive and never less than entertaining.

The cast is impressive, with affecting performances: John Duttine captures every bit of nervousness and one cannot help but route for his Powlett-Jones. Frank Middlemass and Patricia Lawrence as Algy and Ellie Herries are strong, sympathetic and make a formidable team. The brilliant Alan McNaughtan is amazing as Howarth keeping things from ever turning maudlin or saccharine and injects a beautifully jaundiced eye into the proceedings.

You can't go wrong with this set.

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