Trailer for book on North-East soldier’s fate at the Battle of Little Bighorn filmed in Redmire

A screen grab from the video of the battle scene filmed in Leyburn.

The historical account of a soldier’s fate at the Battle of Little Bighorn has been brought to life by young film makers on location at the Jonas Centre in Redmire.

Media students at Darlington College have produced a two minute trailer for the book To Ride with the 7th after being approached by local author and historian Patrick Townsend.

Richard Alsop, Kaidyn Wilkinson, Reece Goodham and Ben Fox filmed produced and edited the story of Timothy Donnelly, a Darlington-born soldier who was killed alongside General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876.

The debut novel by Patrick Townsend traces the journey of 19-year-old Timothy Donnelly who emigrated from Darlington, to the New World with his family in search of adventure, romance, fast horses and chasing the American Indian.

After enlisting with the celebrated USA 7th Cavalry Timothy was slain by the native American tribes, gathered on the banks of the Little Bighorn River, along with the rest of his Company at the infamous Custer’s Last Stand.

Programme leader for University Arts London diploma Level 2 media Stephen Wade said: “We were initially approached by Patrick last year who pitched the idea of producing a film trailer for his new book.

“None of the students had ever heard of The Battle of Little Bighorn before but when Patrick mentioned Timothy and his connection to Darlington their interest really peaked.

“Students really bought into the project and what they have produced is a stunning piece of film work to a very high professional standard and one of the best pieces we have seen on the UAL course.”

Using 60 actors from the Lonestar Old West Re-enactment Group, horses, chickens and a pig, the students spent two days filming scenes from the book, which culminated with an epic battle re-enactment in Redmire.

Cameraman Reece Goodham, 20, of Richmond, said: “We gained real industry experience through the assignment, working with actors and animals in the freezing cold and learnt a lot which we can take forward.”

Author Patrick Townsend launches his debut novel, To Ride With the 7th, with a film trailer created by Darlington College media students, L-R, Richard Alsop, 20, of Darlington, Kaidyn Wilkinson, 20, of Darlington, Reece Goodham, 20, of Richmond and Ben Fox, 18, of Darlington.

The trailer was shown to invited guests in the media suite of Darlington College at the launch of the book to coincide with the 143rd anniversary of the battle.

Author Patrick Townsend added: “I am really pleased that the students took on the project and they have really done justice to the book.

“Having students who are around the same age as Timothy, and from the same town as him, create the film is a great homage to the young soldier.

“They have really contributed to his story by bringing a young man, who could have been lost to the annals of history, back to life.”

1 Comment

  1. What wonderful work done by these students. It was of such professional quality visually and the sound effects were first rate. As Patrick Townsend’s partner in this book, I want to say how impressed I am by the quality of work and professionalism. They are a credit to Darlington College. Many thanks for a well written article!

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