Private Peaceful – Episode 8

A thoughtful Tommo recalls the early days of his military training...and how Charlie is punished for insubordination.

Private Peaceful - Episode 8: synopsis

Tommo checks the time on his watch, wishing time would stand still. He thinks back to his army training and the bullying he and Charlie sustained at the hands of Sergeant ‘Horrible’ Hanley.

Tommo recounts the process of joining-up: the uniforms that don’t fit, the boots that are too big. He sees many of the lads he grew up with at home. Their training at Salisbury Plain is full of marching, stitching and polishing. As they train with rifles they hear guns sounding from over in France and are afraid.

Tommo and Charlie suffer seasickness on the journey to France and are met by scenes of the injured on the quayside when they arrive.

At Etaples they meet Sergeant ‘Horrible’ Hanley who targets both boys. When Hanley realises Tommo is underage he bullies him. Charlie challenges Hanley and is arrested for insubordination. He is given 'Field Punishment Number 1' by the Brigadier who warns him that ultimately insubordination is punishable by death. Charlie is lashed to a gun wheel as the others march past. Tommo thinks of him as Jesus on the cross and sings a hymn to himself as he marches.

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Clip: 'You're a blot on creation!' - Charlie is punished for insubordination


More from this series

Private Peaceful – Episode 7
Private Peaceful – Episode 9
Private Peaceful – Episode 10