BY Ryan McDougall | November 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

xone night in flanders cast and crew

Story of AoS founder inspires grandson to make film series

A Catholic filmmaker is hosting a fundraiser to help create a short series inspired by his late grandfather, a soldier in World War I who was a founding member of Apostleship of the Sea.

Paul Darroch, a parishioner of St Cadoc’s Church in Newton Means, hopes to create a six-part series inspired by his paternal grandfather, Henry James Darroch, who survived a gunshot wound just above his heart during the war, after a German soldier rescued him and took him to a hospital.

As he recovered, he was held at the German hospital as a prisoner of war but later escaped.

Paul’s grandfather then went on to become one of the founding members of the Apostleship of the Sea, before moving to Australia where he lived for the rest of his life.

Mr Darroch has so far created a short promotional film for the series, One Night in Flanders, inspired by a series of battles fought in the Flanders region of Northern France and Belgium.



The short film shows some of the cast acting out a ‘stand-to’ scene, which would take place just before a battle ensued during the First World War.

On Friday November 15, he is hosting a fundraiser alongside his film colleagues at Pollok Ex-Servicemen’s Club in Crossmyloof, Glasgow, to help raise money to fund the full series.

Mr Darroch, 47, said: “The project harks back to a story my Dad told me when I was a wee boy. My grandfather had been shot just above the heart during a Flanders battle but survived.

“Just as he thought he was on the way out he was taken to a German hospital to recover but was taken as a prisoner of war, though he managed to escape after several attempts.

“It’s amazing, because if that German hadn’t saved my grandfather I wouldn’t exist right now. Wee things like that make you think of how a split-second decision can affect the future so much.”


Apostleship of the Sea

He added: “After the war, he went on to become one of the founding members of the Apostleship of the Sea. He was the vice-president of the Glasgow branch. I think the fact that it’s turned into such a big international organisation is something that might attract people to watch the series.”

While the series’ protagonist is based on Mr Darroch’s grandfather, the protagonist is to be named Harry MacDonald as the crew didn’t want the entire show to be about him.

The project is a collaboration of Mr Darroch’s film company, Oak Tree Productions, and Wild Cat Media, who are also planning on having some of the episodes told from the German soldiers’ point of view.



They hope to start filming in spring 2020, and hope the fundraiser will bring in funds to ensure production will be as high-quality as possible. It is hoped the film will be released on Armistice day, November 11, next year.

Mr Darroch said an independent series can cost anywhere between £15,000 and £60,000, and while they have some of the cash already; they hope their fundraiser will bring in a crucial boost.

He said: “The fundraiser will be a night of music, raffle prizes and the short promotional film will also be shown. We’ve even got some behind-the-scenes and blooper footage to show people.

“Much of the music will be WWI themed—we think it will really get people into the spirit of wanting to see the full series.

“It will be a good night to support local filmmakers who want to tell a story to people about history, and also to show people how we take peace for granted. It reminds us what these guys had to go through and why peace is so important today.”

One Night in Flanders Fundraiser Evening takes place on Friday November 15 at Pollok Ex-Servicemen’s Club, 111 Titwood Road, Crossmyloof, G41 2DG at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 at the door.

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