HERO is a feature docudrama inspired by the life of Trinidadian war hero, judge and diplomat Ulric Cross, whose long life spanned key moments of the 20th Century including the Second World War, independence movements in Africa and the Caribbean, the rise of a new brand of Black leaders around the world, the coming of age of Caribbean and African societies in the eighties and nineties – – incidents and shifts that defined our present reality.
Ulric’s story intersected with that of many of the great leaders of his time, including George Padmore, CLR James, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.
The film follows Cross, as he lives through the sweep of history, from colonialism to independence, and the evolution of Pan Africanism, an ideology first created by Caribbean intellectuals, that aimed to unite and strengthen people of African heritage worldwide.
ULRIC CROSS : A HERO FOR ALL TIME
Ulric Cross: A Hero for All Time is a feature documentary film, directed by international award-winning filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, that tells the story of Trinidadian icon Ulric Cross.
Ulric Cross is ‘a hero for all time’ because he lived through and participated in key moments of 20th Century post-colonial history, like the Second World War, the independence movements in Africa and the Caribbean, the rise of a new brand of local leaders after the Black Power Revolution in Trinidad, the coming of age of Caribbean societies in the eighties and nineties – incidents and shifts that defined our present reality as Caribbean people.
The film tells the story of Ulric Cross through live action, archive, recreation and animation, a contemporary pulling together of new forms of expression to tell a timeless story of one man’s heroism.
He is probably the most decorated West Indian Squadron Leader of World War Two. Ulric was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for meritorious service by an Officer of the Armed Forces during wartime in actual combat. He was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flights.
From an ordinary Belmont childhood in colonial Trinidad, Ulric faced down barriers of colour, race and class to realize his extraordinary destiny.
He first joined the Royal Air Force in 1941 as a navigator in Bomber Command. Ulric did eighty operational flights over Germany with twenty-one into Berlin; and was a member of the elite Pathfinders Force that perfected techniques for precision main force bombing.
Ulric returned to civilian life where he went on to star in key post-colonial jurisprudence roles – as a trusted advisor to Nkrumah in Ghana, as Attorney General in Cameroon and as a close colleague of Julius Nyerere in Tanzania.
He then came home to serve his country as judge, diplomat, and arbitrator. He returned to Britain as our High Commissioner in the 90’s.
Now aged ninety-five, Ulric’s life is an inspiration to all, especially to young people now and for generations to come.
Justice P. L. Ulric Cross
Date and Place of Birth: 1 May 1917, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies
Nationality: Citizen of Trinidad and Tobago
Marital Status: Married
Education: St. Mary’s College, Port of Spain, Trinidad
1941 -47 War Service, Royal Air Force (Bomber Command Navigation) Attained rank of Squadron Leader
1949 Called to the Bar (Middle Temple, London)
1949 – 53 Legal Adviser to the Controller of Imports and Exports, Trinidad Lecturer in Trade Union History and Trade Union Law, Extra Mural Department, University of the West Indies
1953 – 57 Talks Producer, BBC, London
1958 – 60 Crown Counsel and Senior Crown Counsel, Ghana
Lecturer in Criminal Law, Ghana School of Law
1960 – 61 Assistant Attorney General, West Cameroon
1961 – 66 Attorney General, West Cameroon
Member of the Cabinet, the House of Chiefs and the House of Assembly Avocat-General, Federal Court of Justice of the Republic of Cameroon
1967 – 68 Judge of the High Court of Tanzania
1968 – 70 Chairman of the Permanent Labour Tribunal, Tanzania
Member of the East African Industrial Court
(Chairmanship rotates among the three members)
1970 – 74 Professor of Law, University of Dar-es-Salaam
Lecturer in Criminal Procedure and the Law of Evidence
Member of the Examiners’ Board, Institute of Finance Management, Tanzania
Member of the East African Common Market Tribunal (Chairman: E. Lauterpacht, Esq., QC)
1971 -79 Judge of the High Court, Trinidad & Tobago
1979 – 82 Judge of the Court of Appeal, Trinidad & Tobago
1982 – 83 Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Trinidad
1983 – Chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation.
1. Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
2. Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
3. Order of Merit – First Class, Federal Republic of Cameroon
4. Order of Valour, Federal Republic of Cameroon
External Examiner, University of Nairobi, Kenya; Haile
Selassie University, Ethiopia.
‘First Instance Civil Procedure in Anglophonic Africa (Conference at University of Nairobi sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Hamburg)
‘The Administration of Legal Systems in Developing Countires’ (Law and Development Seminar at the Univesity of Papua New Guinea)
From : Commonwealth Secretariat website – http://www.thecommonwealth.org/Internal/185183/185198/185199/185203/justice_p__l__ulric_cross/