“The Fighting Midlands…”, an important regional documentary series, won general acclaim. It vividly recalled the history of Midland regiments, the valour of their men in campaigns old and modern and enabled millions of viewers to see eminent field commanders as they explained the planning and carrying-out of battle-plans that will live in history.
So highly was this series regarded that arrangements were made to present film records of the programmes to the War Office and the Ministry of Defence. “The Fighting Midlands… therefore, will live in official history as well as in the records of television.
The War Office, Government departments the Imperial War Museum and other authorities co-operated in the preparation of the programmes, and Commanding Officers readily agreed to place their resources at the disposal of John Pullen’s production team. Full authenticity was assured. This outstanding series traced in detail the history of eleven famous Midland regiments. For viewers, history assumed new significance under the impact of TV presentation as the programmes recalled the formation of units, campaigns, honours won and personalities.
All the programmes were introduced by Lieutenant General Sir Oliver Leese, whose authority, informality and engaging style quickly established his reputation as a screen commentator.
In the first programme, when the spotlight turned on the Sherwood Foresters, Sir Oliver interviewed two V.C.’s of the First World War.
No campaign was more vividly recalled than the most recent war in Korea The gallantry of the Gloucestershire Regiment, — the “Glorious Gloucesters” — took a new meaning as the story was related by men who took part. Their commander, Colonel Came, V.C., was in the studio to talk about the bitter fighting in a distant land.
When the history of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was told, the programme welcomed its Colonel-in-Chief, Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein.
The Midlands of England were fully represented by the inclusion of special programmes on
- 1st Green Jackets (Ox and Bucks)
- Royal Leicestershire Regiment
- Lincolnshire Regiment
- Northamptonshire Regiment
- North Staffordshire Regiment
- Worcestershire Regiment
- King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
- South Staffordshire Regiment