Local film company to tell the story of Grimsby's heroic war trawlermen

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 15 May 2018

A local film company is creating a special documentary detailing the story of the heroic trawlermen from Grimsby during WWI, who "not only fed the nation, but kept it safe as well".

East Cost Pictures have been filming their new documentary down at the Kasbah on Grimsby Docks, where they seek to tell the stories of the trawlermen who put their lives on the line to mine sweep the waters around Britain.

The year long project has seen the team extensively research the history of the trawlermen and the work that they did for the Royal Navy, uncovering some truly remarkable stories, such as the tale of the first member of the Women's Royal Navy Service, Elsie Dannatt.

WW1 minesweepers story filmed on Grimsby docks by East Coast Pictures

Over 1,000 trawlermen from Grimsby died during the First World War mine sweeping missions, as they worked on behalf of the Royal Navy to clear the waterways of danger.

Elsie worked on board the HMS Pekin as a decoder, and would help direct the fishermen to where they needed to go, and her work saved the lives of many.

The documentary will also feature the story of Harry Condor, who was killed while trying to clear mines in the North Sea.

One of his relatives has played a big part in putting the feature together, and the film will also show her trip out to visit the wreck that Harry died on, where she laid a special wreath.


The crew and cast from East Coast Pictures, film their documentary about the men involved in mine sweeping from Grimsby docks during the First World War

Executive producer of the documentary Julia Thompson said: "We are very proud to be able to tell the heroic stories of the trawlermen from Grimsby during World War One, who not only fed the nation, but kept them safe as well with their mine sweeping work.

"This documentary will focus on the lives of a number of special individuals, while also showing the history of their missions and the efforts they went through for the sake of the country.

"We have also been able to use some brilliant pathe footage of the opening of Immingham Docks by King George and some original footage of the mine sweeping missions themselves.

"We will be showing it at the end of the summer in the Fishing Heritage Centre."


The crew and cast from East Coast Pictures, film their documentary about the men involved in mine sweeping from Grimsby docks during the First World War

Producer and director Jane Cullen was thankful for all of the help that she and her team have received from the Fishing Heritage Centre, North East Lincolnshire Council, The Lost Ships of World War One and the Caxton Theatre, who provided them with costumes for the film.

She said: "We are very excited to tell the untold stories of the heroic men and women in Grimsby who risked everything to keep the country safe.

"To be able to tell the story of the very first wren in the Royal Navy Elsie Dannatt has been truly amazing, especially considering everything that women at that time were going through as they fought for the right to vote."

The documentary will be shown later this summer at a special screening in the Fishing Heritage Centre.



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