This Week: The Soldiers



Andersonstown, Lenadoon, New Lodge, Turf Lodge, West Belfast




21 December 1972 (Date of first broadcast)


27min 20sec







Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage


British Film Institute, Thames Television

Rights Holder

Fremantle Media

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Take an unvarnished look at the lives of British soldiers stationed in West Belfast during ‘The Troubles’ and listen to their mixed feelings about their role in this conflict.

Documentary film that presents the disarmingly honest views of British soldiers, as they share their hopes for the future, the disappointments they've faced and the dangers that each day presents. Watch as they warily patrol the streets of Andersonstown and Turf Lodge engaging the IRA in guerrilla warfare in West Belfast's Republican heartland.

This Thames documentary uses their words to reveal the reality of life for the average British Army troop during the Northern Ireland conflict.  



Although filmed over the Christmas period, there are few of the traditional holiday emblems on display, save a few chickens roasting in the oven and a handful of Christmas cards in the army barracks. However, whilst the seasonal festivities and carousing are curtailed, the soldiers are seen at the film’s close enjoying a concert by local comedian James Young. This film is from the BFI collection. It is part of the Thames current affairs television series ‘This Week’, broadcasting regional issues to a national UK audience. The series often provoked controversy, reportedly the demise of Thames was not helped by Thatcher’s anger over their coverage in 1988 of the killing of three IRA members in Gibraltar.


Produced for Thames Television 

Produced by John Edwards

Reporter: Peter Taylor

Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage




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