A Diary for Timothy

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A Diary for Timothy
Directed by Humphrey Jennings
Produced by Basil Wright
Written by Humphrey Jennings
E. M. Forster
Starring Myra Hess
John Gielgud
Frederick Allen
George Woodbridge
Narrated by Michael Redgrave
Music by Richard Addinsell
Cinematography Fred Gamage
Edited by Stewart McAllister
Distributed by Crown Film Unit
Release date
  • 1945 (1945)
Running time
38 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Diary for Timothy (1945) is a British documentary film directed by Humphrey Jennings. It was produced by Basil Wright for the Crown Film Unit. The narration was written by the British author E. M. Forster (spoken by Michael Redgrave) and is an account of the progress of the war during the first six months of the life of a baby named Timothy. The recovery of a Canadian fighter pilot Dr. Peter Roper, who was shot down in his Typhoon fighter by anti-aircraft artillery fire on 7 June 1944, while providing fighter support against a German panzer column from the 5th Panzer Army (Panzer Group West) with units from the Panzer Lehr Division and the 12th SS Hitlerjugend Division, on the Canadian landing on Juno beach as part of the Normandy invasion of Europe. He received AAA fire while attacking a German 5th Army Group panzer column that was blocking the advance to Caen. He was wounded through the right ankle and had also broken his right leg while parachuting from his disabled fighter. A British coal miner Allan is also featured with a broken arm and Bill the locomotive engine driver. Dame Myra Hess is featured giving a concert at the National Gallery in London, several years after her appearance in Listen to Britain, and John Gielgud performs as the Prince in the gravediggers scene from Hamlet.

In a documentary on Jennings made for Channel 4 television by Kevin MacDonald in 2000, it was revealed that the baby who was the subject of the film (Timothy James Jenkins) later moved to Brighton in the 1960s and became a mod before settling down to become a teacher; he died in November 2000.

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