Emmy award-winning director Mike Edwards and world-renowned military historian Martin King bring to the screen the Emmy award-winning film “Searching For Augusta”, an unbelievable true story that follows the quest to find out the truth about the incredible life of Augusta Chiwy. Inspiration for the film is taken from the HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers”, and from the New York Times best-selling novel by Steven Ambrose, where a black nurse “Anna” shows up very briefly raising a number of unsolved questions. Who was this person? Why did she appear and then vanish from the pages of history? Is she a myth?
The answers may surprise you.
Mike Edwards has eighteen years of experience in filming, directing, and editing films, documentaries, and corporate media productions around the world. He has been honored with nine EMMY Awards for his work. As a director, Mike has led his creative teams working for some of the world’s most recognized brands, such as Acura, Sony, Canon, The Ford Motor Company, Harley-Davidson, Intel, Panasonic and many others. In addition, Mike has also directed and produced numerous documentaries on issues such as education, global health, youth culture and the care of children with special needs. Mike’s passion for this story comes from his grandfather’s service as a U.S. Army Captain who served during the Battle of the Bulge in WW-II.
Martin King is a highly qualified British Military Historian/Lecturer who’s had the honor of reintroducing many US, British and German veterans to the WWII battlefields where they fought. He lives in Belgium near Antwerp where he spends his time writing, lecturing, working with veteran organisations and visiting European battlefields. He is a British citizen who has been resident in Belgium since 1981. Previous to that he attended Wakefield Technical and Arts College and followed a course in Teacher Training and European History. In 1981 he decided to continue his academic career firstly with a teacher training course at the famous Berlitz Language School, and secondly with a degree course in European History at the ULB University in Brussels, where he also began studying military history. In 2000 he was offered a position at Antwerp University.
Around this time he began writing the first draft of ‘Voices of the Bulge’, a book based on a series of one to one interviews with veterans who participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Later he was joined by co-author Michael Collins who assisted in this project. His voluntary work with veterans and tracing their individual histories has been a labor of love for almost 20 years. He speaks fluent German, Dutch, Italian and French. Frequently in demand as a public speaker he has lectured at many British and US military bases throughout the world. His activities came to the attention of some major military documentary makers in Hollywood. The History Channel hired Martin to be their Senior Historical Consultant on their series “Cities of the Underworld”. In 2007 he began a new assignment working as a Historical consultant/writer on the hit series ‘Greatest Tank Battles’, currently the most watched military documentary in the US. Shortly thereafter he accepted an invitation to work as a Presenter/Historical Consultant on the series ‘Narrow Escapes’ with Bafta Award winning documentary makers WMR.
He was recently invited to the prestigious West Point Military Academy along with co-author Michael Collins to present their book ‘Voices of the Bulge’, which was one of the first books in America to have a DVD included in the cover. They were also invited to Valley Forge Military College where Martin was asked to officially open the library there in recognition of all his work with veterans. In 2010 he wrote the book ‘The Forgotten Nurse’ (L’infirmiere Oubliée) which received great critical acclaim from the media and became a bestselling military title in France, Holland and Belgium. The book is based on the life of Nurse Augusta Chiwy. Her heroic story remained hidden for 65 years. After orchestrating an extensive campaign to get her recognition in 2011 she was knighted by the King of Belgium, made an honorary member of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and received the United Sates Army “Humanitarian Civilian Award” for her exceptional bravery in World War Two.
Widely regarded as a leading authority on European Military History, General Graham Hollands referred to him as the “Greatest living expert on the Battle of the Bulge”. Steven Ambrose called him “Our expert in the Ardennes”. Fellow writer and notable historian Professor Carlton Joyce said “He really is the best on the Ardennes". His campaigning work for World War Two veterans recently came to attention of some leading military personnel at the Pentagon who cordially invited him and his co-author Michael Collins there to present their latest work ‘The Tigers of Bastogne’. Awarded ‘Services to Education’ certificates by the USAF and NATO.
Michael Collins is an American historian who has extensive experience interviewing World War II veterans from all over the United States. He is also the historian/newsletter editor for the 10th Armored Division Veterans Association Western Chapter. He has co-authored two books with co-author and mentor Martin King, Voices of the Bulge and The Tigers of Bastogne. Along with King, Collins has lectured at Valley Forge Military Academy, The Pentagon, and Fort Dix. He is also helped research the new documentary film, Searching For Augusta, produced by The 5 Stones Group and directed by 9-time Emmy Award winning director, Mike Edwards. This new book about the 30th Infantry will be his third book with King and first with David Hilborn. He is currently a social studies teacher in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He currently lives with his wife Lisa, and his son in Western Massachusetts.
“As the saying goes, “history is written by the victors”. Director Michael Edwards’ “The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne” dares to revise the history of Bastogne during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge by highlighting the heroic, herculean efforts performed by a black nurse amidst a racist era. After decades without praise, this documentary gives honor to a very deserving, courageous figure in history.”
The first time I heard Augusta Chiwy's story of love and courage I wept. My heart was immediately engaged. When the film's director, Mike Edwards, asked me to write a song that captured the spirit of Augusta's incredible journey, I approached my piano with a kind of reverence. The solemn respect that comes when you understand you are part of a work that seeks to honor the sacrifice of another human being. It has been an experience that will never leave me.
When melody and lyric were roughly crafted, I approached Phillip Keveran. His connection to Augusta's caring and compassion was immediate as well. Phillip's prowess as a writer, composer and producer is well known in Nashville, but it is his attention to the soul of music that breathes life into a song. His contribution was invaluable. At House of Big studio in Franklin, TN, under the direction of Kent Hooper, I was honored to sing the vocals for "I Remember." Anthony LaMarchina, principal cello player for the Nashville Symphony, brought the haunting melody to life while playing the strings of a magnificent Matteo Goffriller cello, circa 1700. When all gifts are combined, the result is simply magical. Our heroine, Augusta Chiwy, deserved nothing less than a song that captured her beauty and unfailing love for humanity.
"His Majesty entrusted me with the honor of conveying you his appreciation for your very interesting book as well as the remarkable feature documentary. Highly sensible to the remembrance of those who suffered and even gave their lives, like many allied soldiers did, to free Europe and Belgium, the King was deeply moved by the feature documentary.”
General Jef Van den put
Chief of the Military Household of the King of Belgium
“A spectacular production. Martin’s story of Augusta Chiwy reminds me of that which the soldiers in the 327th Infantry Brigade, 101st Airbone Division hold dear; selflessness, duty, and commitment. Augusta serves as a shining example of these attributes and this story reminds all of us in uniform that we must never forget the sacrifice and service of those who came before us. This is a must see for anyone and also those who have served as well as their loving, supportive families.”
Colonel Rob Campbell
Commander, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airbone Division
“I have never seen a better short story documentary in my life. The way the narractive is weaved together with the larger picture is stupendous. It is thoughtful and touching beyond belief. The stock footage is accurate, unlike what i see in other documentary films. The creative animation of the stock footage you have used helps to create a uniquely stark scene, as do the incredible charcoal drawings. The context that you provide on the Bulge to help tell the story is beyond reproach. The is 11 on a scale of 10.”
Commander Jeffrey Barta
Deputy Museum Systems Operations Office
Naval History and Heritage Command
“I have watched the film twice today and each time it has brought me to tears! It is a wonderful film, well made and the illustrations are fabulous.”
Dr. Norman Lichtenfeld,
“Just want to say the film was so fantastic.”
Granddaughter, General George Patton
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