SSAFA WWII Veterans walk the red carpet at Darkest Hour film premiere

Damaris Media and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity join forces for ‘Darkest Hour’

Damaris Media and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, have partnered on the release of Darkest Hour (in cinemas 12th January). To celebrate, two of SSAFA’s WWII veterans were given the red carpet treatment at the premiere on 11 December before watching the film. Both veterans attend the SSAFA Southend Veteran’s Club, which runs every Thursday.

The film is a thrilling account inspired by the true story of Winston Churchill’s first weeks in office during the early days of the Second World War. Starring BAFTA Award-winner Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour takes a revelatory look at the man behind the icon.

Dougie Shelley, a WWII veteran serving in the Arctic Convoys, said: “Having lived through this time in history, it was fascinating to see it brought to life in a new way. It felt like going back in time.”

Bernard Mabey, a WWII veteran serving in the Dambusters squadron as a mechanic, said: “We obviously never got to see the Prime Minister in such a close manner, it was like seeing behind closed doors into a private world. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us.”

Justine Baynes, Director of Marketing and Communications at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity said: “We are delighted to partner with this powerful film depicting a challenging period of history. SSAFA was there then and is still here now, ensuring that we offer practical, emotional and financial support to members of the Armed Forces, past and present, and their families. It is vital that we keep the memories and lessons from this time alive, as they remain relevant today”.

More than 70 years on from the Second World War, with over 500 employees and 6,000 volunteers, SSAFA is still ready to help the Armed Forces community whenever and wherever support is needed. Last year, staff and teams of volunteers helped over 67,000 people – from Second World War veterans to those involved in more recent conflicts – as well as their families.

Damaris Media and SSAFA will be releasing a free Companion Booklet for the film’s release in January, featuring historical background, images from the film and a look behind the scenes.

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Notes to editors:

  • SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Every year our staff and team of volunteers help more than 67,000 people, from Second World War veterans to young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts.
  • For more information visit and follow us on Twitter: @SSAFA.
  • Damaris Media can provide the following assets:
    • Official production notes
    • Film stills
    • Press preview

Please email to request.

About Darkest Hour:

Damaris Media is a marketing and PR agency with unique insight and reach into communities throughout the UK and beyond. They use this reach to promote film and theatre.

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