Tyneside ship-builder Joe Maddison lost his faith in the trenches at the Somme in 1916. Now that World War II has begun, he is too old to enlist alongside his son and son-in-law, and is also in a reserved occupation so, after his wife Polly has left him for a sailor, he joins the Home Guard with his friends Marxist Eddie and cynical, wise-cracking Harry. Harry's anti-authoritarian attitude causes problems with Mr. Simpson, the company commander, and Joe leads the men out on strike after Harry is expelled. However, after he has dealt with an unexploded bomb, he is acclaimed a hero, and, along with his friends, reinstated, being promoted to Corporal. He also meets widow Selina who brings him out of his shell, but Polly returns, with the sailor's child, seeking a reconciliation, a request which splits the family. Come 1945 and the war is ending, but Joe still has his personal conflict to resolve.
don @ minifie-1
Did You Know?
In the opening scenes at the shipyard early in 1940 Robson and others discuss joining the LDV (later in the war known as the Home Guard), but the Daily Sketch they are reading has a front page report on the German advance on Moscow which didn't happen until late 1941. Poor research by someone. See more
[in the shipyard, during the lunch break, Joe and Harry look at their sandwiches
I've got cheese. You?
I'm buggered if I know! Mind you, next door's dog's gone missing. It could be potted Rover.
I'll take a chance.
[they swap sandwiches