Vinegar Hill by Kevin Hopgood | Script Revolution

Vinegar Hill



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Based On: 
The Memoirs of Miles Byrne
The true story of how a cohort of young men, exiled from Ireland after the rebellion of 1798, joined Napoleon's Irish Legion and fought their way across the battlefields of Europe.

Vinegar Hill is an historical drama set during the Napoleonic
Wars. It’s the epic story of how a cohort of young men, exiled
from Ireland after the failed rebellion of 1798, joined
Napoleon's Irish Legion and fought their way across the
battlefields of Europe.
These political refugees, the remnants of the United Irishmen,
were to spearhead a planned French backed invasion of Ireland.
The catastrophic naval defeat at Trafalgar in 1805 and
subsequent British naval superiority meant this was not to be.
Once again, a generation of Irishmen found themselves fighting
across Europe, for any cause but their own.
The raw recruits of the Irish Legion make the journey from
idealistic rebels fighting colonial oppression to being
professional soldiers in Napoleon’s army.
The story begins and ends with MILES BYRNE, a courageous Irish
Colonel, meeting MARY LAWLESS at a cemetery in Paris in 1850.
It then shifts to 1803 as Miles' memoir of his service in
France and elsewhere is dramatized.
We focus on two main protagonists, Miles Byrne and WILLIAM
LAWLESS. The story of how Miles and the rest of the ’98
generation were affected by the horrors they lived through in
that fateful summer is told in flashbacks spread throughout the
main arc of the story.
The twenty year old Miles Byrne flees to Paris following the
failure of the 1803 rising and the subsequent execution of
United Irishman leader Robert Emmet. In Paris Miles meets
William Lawless, a thirty year old ex-professor of the Dublin
Royal College of Surgeons. William, along with many Irishmen,
has been in Paris since fleeing arrest during the crackdown by
the British authorities that preceded the 1798 rising.
William takes Miles under his wing, and the two form a bond
which is tested, but not broken, by their love for the same
woman, Mary Evans, the daughter of United Irishman grandee
Hampden Evans.
The Irish Legion faces hellish conditions in battle. They serve
with honor and attract the attention of Napoleon himself.
Several of their number receive the medal of the Legion of
Honor, the highest military honor in France established by
We follow the trials and tribulations of Byrne and his comrades
as they fight in Spain, Holland and Germany until their final
battle in 1813 when, despite displays of great heroism and
grace under fire, the regiment is effectively destroyed on the
banks of the Bobr River in Silesia by Russian cossacks.
The story ends as it began, years later in a cemetery in Paris.
Mary and Miles meet, to honor her fallen husband, Miles’ great
friend and colleague, William Lawless. Mary has never
remarried. William was the only one for her, but she admits
that there was once someone else... Despite the horrors that
he's experienced Miles survived, has married and seems to have
a good life.
Mary and he are very close, and both of them love her late
husband. Love and honor have survived the trials and horrors of

Submitted: March 27, 2017
Last Updated: March 27, 2017
Times Downloaded: 5
Last Downloaded: August 10, 2019

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The Writer: Kevin Hopgood

By day I'm a freelance illustrator and comic book artist. My best known comics credit is the three year stint drawing the Iron Man comic book for Marvel Comics. During my time on the book I designed the War Machine and Hulkbuster characters that have since made appearances in several Marvel Studios movies. I've been working from scripts of one form or another all of my working life, and about a year ago I decided to have a go at writing myself. I found that I really enjoyed it, so I've kept on doing it! To date I've written three features and a number of shorts. Go to bio

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