Wednesday, September 4, 2019


The other evening, I watched the first three episodes of To Serve Them All My Days. We watched the series when it was shown on Masterpiece Theater I believe in the 1980s. I loved the series then, and I loved seeing it again. The performances, especially those of John Duttine, as the young soldier, and Frank Middlemass as the headmaster of the school, are excellent.

David Powlett-Jones, a young Welsh soldier who was wounded in the leg and suffering from shell shock during WW I has been released from the military hospital and sent to apply for a position as a teacher in a boys public school in Devon.

David was promoted to 2nd lieutenant up from the ranks because great numbers of young officers were killed in the war. He's hesitant about teaching in a school with upper class students because he's from a coal mining family in Wales.

13 episodes of the series were filmed, and I can't wait to watch the rest of them.

The story is taken from a novel of the same name by R F Delderfield. After seeing the series, I read the book, but I found it long, tedious, and quite disappointing. The story improved with the cutting that was necessary to film a TV series.

UPDATE: I've now seen the entire series and thoroughly enjoyed every episode, including two that were not part of the Netflix series but are available on YouTube. If I had known the entire series was on YouTube, I'd have watched earlier.


  1. I remember watching that on Masterpiece Theatre too, a good show with fine performances.

    I miss Alistair Cooke!

    1. I miss Alistair Cooke, too, Russ. It's good that some of the older Masterpiece Theater gems are now available in various formats.

  2. Thank you for the reference "To Serve .."
    I am interested in comparing it to the stories of Wodehouse regarding the English school


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