Theirs is the Glory is a British war film, made in 1946, that covers the Battle of Arnhem and the part played by the British 1st Airborne Division. The Battle of Arnhem occurred in the Netherlands, during Operation Market Garden in WW2.
This film, which was the first to depict this battle, shows it from the British point of view; there is a later film (A Bridge Too Far) which shows the operation in full, from the perspective of all the nations involved.
The film is set in Oosterbeek and Arnhem and cleverly blends re-enactments with genuine footage from the original battle that had been shot by journalists and military photographers. This was filmed only one year after the battle had occurred, and so benefited from being able to use veterans and local people who had actually been there and taken part in the original action.
The movie shows the battle the way it happened – the British forces were dropped behind enemy lines, and their mission was to capture the bridges that would allow Allied forces to advance.
Theirs is the Glory was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, a director from Northern Ireland and a veteran of the First World War. It was produced jointly by the J. Arthur Rank Organization and the British Army’s Film and Photographic Unit.
More than 200 veterans took part in this film; however, no credits were shown within the film for the actors, producers, or directors. Many local people were also involved, re-enacting their roles in the original battle.
This movie is a popular one, even to this day. Relatives of people who were there at the Battle of Arnhem appreciate being able to watch their ancestors’ history unfold before their eyes. As a true documentary, it is also a valuable piece of history, in terms of learning about WW2 and its battles and operations.