Documentary Preview: ‘In The Hour Of Victory’

April 16, 2012

The Bermuda Documentary Film Festival later this month features the world premiere of award winning Bermudian director Lucinda Spurling’s film, “In the Hour of Victory,” which is based on the book by Senator Jonathan Smith.

Senator Smith published “In The Hour Of Victory” — based on letters his grandfather Major Toby Smith sent to his family during the Second World War [1939-1945] — earlier this year.

The book and the forthcoming film tell the story of Major Smith who was a member of the first contingent of Bermudian troops to travel to the UK in 1940. He was killed in Holland in October, 1944.

Trailer for the “In the Hour of Victory” film:

Sen. Smith has said the 300-plus letters home begin with Major Smith’s voyage to the UK — when the ship carrying Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps and Bermuda Militia Artillery troops came close to being torpedoed by a German U-boat — and end just two days before his death leading his men into battle in Holland.

He recently said: “I never knew my grandfather. My father lost his father when he was five years old. I knew when I picked up the very first letter, that there was a story to be told here.”

The film’s synopsis says, “Untouched for 50 years, a family finds a bundle of letters setting them on a journey into their past, and the rediscovery of a tragic love story amid the turmoil of World War II. Bermudian, Major Toby Smith lost his life at the battle of Overloon during the final Allied push for victory.

“This film weaves a haunting portrait etched in Toby’s own words through the letters he lovingly and dutifully wrote to his wife and five children as he agonised over loyalty to them and the war against the Nazis during four years of service abroad.

“This first-hand account uniquely re-captures the war-time era and its impact on a family, leaving a lasting legacy of what it means to serve one’s King and Country. Based on the book by Major Smith’s grandson, Jonathan Smith. Lucinda Spurling and Jonathan Smith will attend the screening.

The film will screen on at 7pm on Saturday April 21st, and you can download a Bermuda Documentary Film Festival guide here [PDF].Tickets are available at

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Comments (2)

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  1. United says:

    Men and women of honor fought WW11, they all did it with honor to God, country and mankind. These attributes are very much in demand today as today’s children, very few are taught those attributes. This generation probably never knew to do without. Everything they wanted they got and, unfortunately in today’s world if they want something they will TAKE it with no questions asked. I feel bad for today’s children because it may be through no fault of their own. I know it has a lot to do with pin heads that came out of college years ago and came up with this SOCIAL ENGINEERING stupidity where you can’t discipline a child, you can’t spank a child and morality means what’s moral for one may not be moral for another. Nobody respects one another or one another’s things and space. But that generation, many as young as FOURTEEN years old knew to do the honorable thing and thing about everybody else but themselves.

  2. stellasouder says:

    I am so anxious to read this book and to see the documentary! One of Toby Smith’s children was my bet friend in Morristown High School in NJ. Her name, Sandra Lee Blackburn Smith Webb called to tell me her cousin wrote the book. She received a copy and knowing I love non-fiction books,and particularly books about people, said I would love the story….how do I get a copy of this book? I believe I may have met you, Johnathan Smith, when I visited Bermuda a number of years ago…it seems to me that you were involved with a perfum factory and Sandy suggested I look you up…