You will never learn all there is to know about battles by sticking your head in a book; you need to get out there and see the battlefield for yourself. The high bluffs, the snaking rivers and seemingly impassable fords. The lie of the land, the boggy marsh and the exact spot where the doomed heroes fell and the victors claimed their spoils.
There is one step better though and that’s walking the terrain with an expert guide; precisely what happens when you put the Flodden DVD into your player and click the “OK” button.
Clive Hallam-Baker takes you on a shadowy journey into the past, against a backdrop of scenery that has hardly changed since that fateful day on 9th September 1513 when brave men fought hand to hand and fourteen thousand died in the space of a few hours, at the Battle of Flodden field.
Amazing cinematography and a great soundtrack help set the scene for a fascinating encounter between two old foes. King James IV of Scotland is caught on the
horns of a dilemma. Does he obey the treaty of Perpetual Peace with his English neighbours, or is the pull of the Auld Alliance with France too strong when his brother-in-law Henry VIII attacks the French kingdom? Hallam-Baker really captures the mood of the time when he tells of the English king’s parting shot to the Earl off Surrey, “trust not the Scots” as he embarks across the channel, leaving the defence of his realm to the wily old commander.
What follows, as they say, is history. Assisted by James Bell of the Flodden 1513 Club and one of the North’s most prolific and talented authors, John Sadler, our chronicler paints a vivid picture of the events and tactics preceding the battle. Like a scout from an old Hollywood Western, Hallam-Baker has the knack of making you feel like you were actually there, as he traces the routes of both armies across a hostile terrain, long disputed and fiercely contested by English and Scots alike.
A romantic but futile act of bravery concludes the story and precipitates the death of the last British monarch on a field of battle, when James IV is hacked to death fighting shoulder to shoulder with his loyal followers. Was there a winner? Henry VIII could hardly claim victory as he was away in France and ironically, the English lion and theScottish unicorn were soon to be united a generation or so later when James VI of Scotland ascended the throne as James I of England, following the expiration of the Tudor line.
This masterful work is dedicated to the brave men of both sides, who fought an epic battle on that day.