Nurse Nellie’s life to be turned into a movie

Silver screen: Nellie Spindlers life is to be the subject of a film.
Silver screen: Nellie Spindlers life is to be the subject of a film.

The life of Wakefield war nurse Nellie Spindler is to be turned into a short film, a production company has confirmed.

The 26-year-old was killed by shell fire during the Battle of Passchendaele in August 1917 as she tended to wounded soldiers close to the front line.

Cardiff-based company Just Druid Enterprises Ltd is to shoot the movie and are looking to film some of the scenes in Wakefield.

Paul Davies, an executive director for the company said: “We’re in the planning stage at the moment and we’ve been doing some research.

“We’ve got a script writer who is putting it together as we speak. We’re looking at the next couple of months to get things started.

“From our research so far, Nellie was the only woman killed as a direct result of enemy fire in the First World War and our film will not only tell her story but that of the role of women on the front line, something that there is very little said about in past films or documentaries. It will be about 20 or 30 minutes long and will be purely from Nellie’s perspective and what she did.”

Born in Wakefield in 1891, Nellie worked at St James’ Hospital in Leeds before volunteering to ‘do her bit’ with the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service.

She worked at the closest field hospital to the trenches during the four-month Battle of Passchendaele which left more than 475,000 dead or wounded.

And she is the only nurse to be buried with full military honours,among 10,000 men in Lijssenthoek, Belgium. Last year a Civic Society blue plaque was placed on a building on Stanley Road, the site of where her family’s house stood more than a century ago.

Wakefield Civic Society’s chairman Kevin Trickett welcomed the idea of a movie.

He said: “Anything that brings the people of Wakefield to the wider world is good.

“This is quite a sad story but with one with some heroism about a young girl who gave up her life.”