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Members tribute to Nellie Spindler

Published 19th Apr 2018 by Rebecca Walker

​On 3rd July, at the Theatre Royal Wakefield, Just Druid Productions, in collaboration with Wakefield Civic Society, are showing a film Premiere about the tragic death of Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler, who was killed in August 1917 whilst carrying out her duty at a casualty clearing station at the battle of Passchendaele. Nellie, who was from Wakefield, is the only woman buried alongside 10,000 soldiers at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Flanders, Belgium.

On 3rd July, at the Theatre Royal Wakefield, Just Druid Productions, in collaboration with Wakefield Civic Society, are showing a film Premiere about the tragic death of Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler, who was killed in August 1917 whilst carrying out her duty at a casualty clearing station at the battle of Passchendaele. Nellie, who was from Wakefield, is the only woman buried alongside 10,000 soldiers at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Flanders, Belgium.

Nellie was only one of two nurses buried with full military honours in WW1.

This short film has also been chosen to be part of Lord the General Dannatt's summer tour of the four UK capital cities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1. The film is being written by Just Druid with guidance from Christine Hallett, Professor of Nursing History at the University of Manchester and we are fortunate that Nellie's remaining relatives have provided actual letters, photographs and presents sent by Nellie to her family from France. We are also looking to help raise the profile of the NMA ( Nurses Memorial Appeal ) which seeks to remember the 1500 nurses who perished in both world wars

Programme for evening

The evening will start with a separate short film about one soldier's anguish at the battle itself, narrated by Lt General Jonathon Riley CB DSO. Wine served at the interval will be accompanied by music/ poetry, provided by the pupils of Wakefield Girls’ High School.

After the interval, we will have the premiere showing of the ‘Nellie film’, which will also include a digital memorial by the pupils of Nellie's old school - Pinders Primary School. The evening will end with a piano performance by the film's musical composer Lizbet Sempa

Kevin Trickett, president of Wakefield Civic Society said: “Last year, the Society erected a blue plaque to commemorate the life of Nellie Spindler and her story generated considerable public interest. It is very fitting, therefore, that a film is to be made of that story and I have pledged the Society’s full support to the project. The film will help to ensure that Nellie’s story will be brought to the attention of a wider audience, both in her home city and further afield, and it will help to show the bravery and dedication of the many nurses who served on or close to the front line during the first World War.”

Tickets priced £10 are available from the Theatre Royal Wakefield Box Office

Please see http://www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk/ or telephone the Theatre Royal Box Office on 01924 211311.

Because the film will be marketed throughout the UK and the DVD sold in the British commonwealth countries that served in WW1 in time for the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1, a number of sponsorship opportunities are available including credits in the film. Companies interested in a range of packages should contact Just Druid's CEO, Chris Ready chris@justdruid.org


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