Frances Byrnes - Mercy


AFTERNOON DRAMA20170822 (BBC7)Two PoWs in a Swiss resort struggle to recover from their experiences.

Carl Prekopp stars in this first world war drama about one of the first major operations by the Red Cross.

In 1916, soldiers who had been living terrible, deprived lives in German POW camps were taken to Chateau d'Oex, a holiday resort in Switzerland, to be nursed back to health amongst the clean air and spring flowers, courtesy of the Red Cross. Some of their wives even made the long train journey from Britain to visit them.

It sounds like a fairy tale ending to the horrors of war and captivity, and for many it must have been just that. But what if a man doesn't want to be found and what if he thinks he doesn't deserve to be made better?

Based on newspaper reports of events at the time, Frances Byrnes' play follows two fictional soldiers: number 2301, an angry young sergeant who is ashamed to have been captured and won't reveal his identity, and Havildar Gurung, a young Ghurka who is going blind and longs for the hills of home.

Thrown together in this beautiful, gentle place, and with the winter snows now beginning to fall, is kindness and mercy enough to cure these damaged men?

2301....Carl Prekopp
Nurse....Siriol Jenkins
Special Correspondent....Richard Mitchley
Gurung....Muzz Khan
Officer....Gareth Pierce

BBC/Cymru Wales Production directed by Kate McAll.