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Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis in the Dam Busters film

Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb, was played by Michael Redgrave in the 1955 film The Dam Busters. Barnes' daughter Mary, tells us more.

"Michael Redgrave did a marvelous job but he was a little too vague – too sort of 'gentle old prof type' – which wasn't really BNW’s way. He was leaner and straighter and more sort of straight down the line. It was a very good picture – I’m not complaining about it at all."

She also revealed that her father: "Liked Michael Redgrave very much. I don't know if he thought anything [about the film] other than 'it was a jolly good job, thank you.'"

The film used real Lancaster bombers supplied by the RAF and was shot in various locations in England with the Upper Derwent Valley in Derbyshire the main location for the footage of the raids. This also happened to be where a great deal of the real training runs also took place.

However, Stopes Roe reveals that the family had a good chuckle at one of the final scenes in the film.

"When he retired from Vickers in the film my mother said: “'arnes what will you do now' and he said: 'I will mend the chicken run.' Much humour in the family. Chickens did not figure in our background at all.

"It was a very good film. I don't know how anybody thinks they could better it."

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Flying Officer George Gregory, an air gunner with 617 Squadron on the Dambuster raid, who was killed in action.

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