My Boy Jack

My Boy Jack

I’ve just finished watching a movie made for television called My Boy Jack about the Rudyard Kipling’s son Lieutenant John ‘Jack’ Kipling and Jack’s subsequent death in the Battle of Loos in France. It was screened originally on ITV in the UK in November 2007.

My Boy Jack chronicles how passionate Rudyard Kipling was in Great Britain entering the war against Germany and how insistent he was for Jack to do the right thing and defend the country. Jack was not fit enough to join the navy nor the army because of his poor eyesight, so Rudyard used his influence to get Jack into the Irish Guards instead.

Watching the movie gives me extra insight to the kind of man that Rudyard Kipling was, especially when I link it to his poem ‘If‘ – one of my favourites. I learn from Wikipedia that after Jack’s death, Kipling wrote “If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied”.

The movie is beautifully made and powerfully acted – David Haig as Rudyard Kipling is excellent. Apparently the movie is based on the play that he wrote. David Haig’s play is in turn, based on Kipling’s poem called ‘My Boy Jack‘. Daniel Radcliffe also acts Jack Kipling really well as a boy who really wants to get out of home, and uses the army as his way out. Even Kim Catrall is remarkable as Kipling’s American wife, Carrie.

My Boy Jack

Have you news of my boy Jack?
Not this tide.
When d’you think that he’ll come back?
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
Has any one else had word of him?
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
Oh dear, what comfort can I find?
None this tide
Nor any tide
Except he did not shame his kind –
Not even with that wind blowing and that tide.
Then hold your head up all the more
This tide,
And every tide,
Because he was the son you bore
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide.

I really enjoyed the movie – 4.5/5. Get the DVD if you can get it.


Published by fuzz

I've finally relented to the lures of blogging - and for those who care, well, I'm a self-confessed geek who's a wanderer at heart, who thinks and analyses too much, and who's trying hard to hold on to his 7-year old inner persona.

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