War Veterans And Cast Attend the Dunkirk World Premiere

The cast and veterans hit the red carpet at Leicester Square for the world premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

Starring Tom Hardy (who plays a fighter pilot) Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and former One Direction singer Harry Styles, the film tells the story of the 1940 “Miracle”, during which a fleet of British ships and boats – many of them manned by volunteers – rescued stranded Allied troops from an enemy-surrounded French beach.

The lad squad and the VIP’s posed for photos next to the life-size ‘copy’ of the venerable Spitfire.

Harry Styles, who celebrated his film debut, was met by over-excited fans letting out excited squeals; some even had to be attended by paramedics. The star stopped along the way to pose for selfies and sign autographs before posing for the press.

Tom Hardy, who hopefully by now passed his motorbike test, -can’t be cool riding on a 125cc bike with L plates- posed with his wife Charlotte Riley. Tom looked very dapper in a patterned navy blue suit and striped blue and white shirt while his spouse donned navy blue trousers and a top paneled with V-cut mesh from navel up.

The premiere culminated with the arrival of Prince Harry and veterans of the conflict in Dunkirk, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Prince Harry, the fifth in line to the throne, conducted two tours of duty to Afghanistan with the British Army; his appearance was on behalf of Contact, a military mental health collaboration between a group of charities working with the NHS and the Ministry Of Defence, who want to make it simpler for the military community to find support with their mental wellbeing.

Harry has long campaigned to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges facing service personnel making the transition to civilian life, and in 2014 he organised the first ever Invictus Games, ‘an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veteran.’

George Wagner, 96, from Litchfield near Birmingham, was sent to Europe in late 1939 with the Royal Engineers, and he met Harry earlier in the day where he recounted his experiences.

Wagner was given a private screening of the movie and said the sound of explosions brought back memories of the bombardment they faced as they tried to leave.

‘It’s got bags of bangs, that’s what worries me is the bangs. It just reminded me when we were just outside Dunkirk we were mortared as we were getting away. Then they started to shell us and then one or two planes started to have a go,’ he said. Wagner was one of the three who joined Harry at the premiere, along with Gemma Morgan and Louis Nethercott. Gemma served as a Captain in the Army and deployed to Kosovo when she was 25 in 1998.

Louis joined the military when he was just 17 and in May 2016, Louis was selected to be the Mental Health Ambassador for the Invictus Games in Orlando.

The film is released in the UK on 21 July.

Photography by Joe Alvarez




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