Theirs Is The Glory

Arnhem, Hurst And Conflict On Film

David Truesdale, Allan Esler Smith

Date Published :
October 2016
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Contributor(s) :
Roger Moore
Illustration :
65 color photos, 275 b/w photos, 10 maps
No associated books available.


‘Theirs is the Glory’ - the story of the Battle of Arnhem - was the biggest-grossing UK war film for a decade. Made by veterans of the battle in the late summer of 1945, it tells their story day by day: the pre-operation briefing, the drop, the race to the bridge, the daring, death and banter that only soldiers could have scripted - but the veterans had outstanding assistance. Men like Terence Young of XXX Corps - and later the early ‘James Bond’ director - helped craft the words we hear. Directing the veterans was a First World War veteran - who had survived a bayonet charge at Gallipoli - and prolific film director: Brian Desmond Hurst. Born and bred in Belfast, Hurst went on to learn the craft of film making in Hollywood with his mentor, John Ford. Conflict is shown, heard and interpreted in many of his 30 films made from the 1920s to the 1960s. This book is the ‘director’s cut’ - looking in-depth at his work on conflict - and takes, as its centerpiece, ‘Theirs is the Glory’. Decade-by-decade conflict is chronicled from the 1920s and Hurst’s ‘Ourselves Alone’ (and the War of Independence in Ireland, where his film was banned in Northern Ireland) to the 1960s and ‘Simba’ and the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya. This is a book you will refer to again and again, and shows why ‘Theirs is the Glory’ is the definitive film on Arnhem; it will remain the veterans’ lasting tribute to their comrades that did not return. This book also shows why Hurst was an enigma, but a master of the genre, and at his very best when focusing on the subject of conflict on the vast canvas of film.

About The Author

David Truesdale took early retirement in 1998 and since then has written for films and television and produced battlefield guides for the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, The First Eagle: the 87th Foot at the Battle of Barrosa, and Regulars by God! The 89th Foot at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

For relaxation he paints in watercolor, listens to good music, drinks red wine and finds that Tommaso Albinoni (1671-1750) and his Oboe Concerto in D Minor has been an inspiration during difficult time in any manuscript.

Allan Esler Smith administers the estate of his uncle, Brian Desmond Hurst, Northern Ireland’s greatest film director, who made ‘Theirs is the Glory’. In addition to writing and speaking about Hurst’s life and films, Allan is a chartered accountant and business start-up expert and co-authors The Good Retirement Guide.


“ … “This book bursts with character and something harder to define. For me it is a bit like a time machine allowing the men of 1944 and, indeed, 1946; to speak directly to us … this book is one hundred per cent in the zone of the Arnhem aficionados who love this stuff … “Theirs is the Glory was honest in its presentation of events and this book will help you appreciate the men, the movie and the history perhaps even more than you do already.”

- War History Online

“ … a fascinating niche that I think will intrigue those who want to know all there is to know about the 1st Airborne Division experience at Arnhem and Oosterbeek.”

- The Eagle

“ … a series of well-illustrated independent essays on some though not every aspect of Hurt’s work as a re-creator of conflict on screen. In that they have achieved what they set out to do, clearing the way for further research on and analysis of Hurst and of the films which he made.”

- Journal of Irish Studies

“ … The depth of research on the central film is impressive as is its quest to fill out the story of the participants thereafter and is a considerable addition to the literature of the Battle of Arnhem.”

- Society of Friends of the National Army Museum, Spring 2017

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