Sam Mendes in Glasgow filming 1917 CREDIT 120619 SWNS
Film

'1917': Sam Mendes' New WWI Film Was Inspired By Director's Grandfather

The incoming war epic '1917' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth, amongst others.

Sam Mendes in Glasgow filming 1917 CREDIT 120619 SWNS

Sam Mendes was spotted filming in Glasgow last June (Picture: SWNS).

The next war film arriving on our screens in December is based on the wartime heroics of director Sam Mendes' grandfather.

'1917', which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth and Richard Madden, follows Alfred Mendes' exploits in the First World War, which earned him the Military Medal for bravery.

Grandson Sam, who has since directed James Bond instalment 'Skyfall', grew up learning of how his grandad dodged shells, snipers and machine-gun fire to deliver messages through craters near Ypres, Belgium.

The screenplay follows the mission given to Alfred and one other runner to cancel a British attack that would see 1,600 troops walk into an ambush during the Battle of Poelcappelle, in the Third Battle of Ypres. 

The official trailer for the film has had almost 12 million YouTube hits since being released at the start of August.

He made it through, "without a scratch but with a series of hair-raising experiences that would keep my grand and great-grandchildren enthralled for nights on end”.

Alfred was admitted to hospital in Sheffield after he was gassed during a German attack at the La Bassee Canal in May 1918.

After his service, he returned to Trinidad as a writer and eventually became a civil servant.

Marrying his third wife, Ellen, in 1940 in New York, he went on to have a son, Peter, who became a father to filmmaker Sam.

Sam Mendes gained off-screen recognition for 'American Beauty' (1999), 'Road to Perdition' (2002) and 'Skyfall' (2012).

Alfred and Ellen both died in 1941, after retiring and moving to Barbados.