Sunday, 6 December 2009

Heroes and Heritage

With the recent announcement that actor Richard Todd had died my thoughts instantly went in two directions at once - firstly sorry that one of the great British actors of his time had passed away and secondly that another of the D Day veterans had gone.
As I think most news reports stated, Todd was very believable in his on screen military roles as he had been a fighting man himself in the Paras. His two most iconic roles are probably as Guy Gibson in "The Dam Busters" and playing the role of Major John Howard in the film "The Longest Day". The latter film saw him playing the role of his own commanding officer in an operation he took part in on the night of 6th June 1944, the capture of the bridge over the Orne Canal, one of the first actions of D Day. Amusingly, one scene shows Todd playing Howard talking to another actor playing Todd! The bridge having been successfully captured by a classic coup de main attack was later renamed Pegasus Bridge after the Airborne Division's Pegasus symbol - the bridge still exists although is now in a museum adjacent to the site and a newer though visually similar bridge has taken its place in recent years.
So Richard Todd symbolised a period in British History when Britain was undoubtedly "Great", populated by a patriotic population still hardy from the privations of the war years. Now over 60 years on, we have a new breed of actors who for the main are more celebrated for their celebrity rather than anything else and my thoughts on hearing of Todd's death perhaps tinged with nostalgia immediately thought how much the world had changed. As a nation we are possibly softer but the recent surge in support for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrates a pleasing return to the appreciation of our military services: about time too. I know from my work that when I am promoting heritage in its broadest from that anything large or small, object or person can be an excellent representation of our collective past. Richard Todd could be classed as a heritage item while he was alive for his contribution to the silver screen as well as his contribution to the war effort. With his passing his contributions have now become historic.
Luckily we can still enjoy Richard Todd's films and interviews with great fondness. However take a fresh look at what is going on today around you and see if you can spot potential future or existing heritage items. Take note and beware, as heritage can be lost so easily but just as easily be preserved. That is why I am so passionate about Copper Phoenix, promoting heritage to Entertain, Educate and Inspire: once we have lost our heritage we lose our identity, collectively and individually and what better way is there to entertain, educate and inspire us than our heroes?
Richard Todd, rest in peace but for the rest of us long live the past!
Tim Davies
Heritage to Entertain, Educate & Inspire

No comments:

Post a Comment


Marketing services

Developing strategy, practical help, training and more.



About us

Adaptable, analytical and an absolute focus on delivering your goals.



Let us help you

To find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.