William Kelly’s War (2014)


William Kelly’s War is a 2014 Australian low-budget film, set during World War I.

It was directed by Geoff Davis, and written by his sons Josh and Matthew.


As the Great War begins, Billy and Jack Kelly together with cousin Paddy sign on and are shipped out to serve in Europe. Billy, a known marksman is singled out to head up a highly successful sniper team.

Journalist Keith Murdoch is attached to Billy’s group for press coverage of the front line. With Murdoch’s glowing reports, Billy and the boys become celebrated war heroes. As the war drags on, the defeat at Gallipoli leads to more death and carnage in France.

Billy’s sniper abilities and courage in hand to hand fighting astounds his fellow soldiers, he is awarded the Legion of Honour.

Back home, Billy’s parents confronted with lawless bushrangers who threaten their lives and livelihood and fearing they will never see their sons again begin to campaign to oppose the government conscription policy.

In Europe, Billy’s team are sent forward to harass the enemy prior to a major assault on the infamous and impregnable Hindenburg Line.


  • The battle and trench scenes were shot on the Davis family farm in Victoria, with fortifications being made from chipboard, mud and cement.
  • The film was originally titled The Stolen when it premiered in Cannes in May 2014, and was released in theatres across rural Victoria on 30 October that year.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Geoff Davis.
  • Producer(s): Phil Avalon, Kevin James, and James Vernon.
  • Writer(s): Josh Davis and Matthew John Davis.
  • Music: Phil Lambert.
  • Cinematography: Damien Beebe.
  • Editor(s): Andrew Knight and Digby Hogan.
  • Distributor(s): Flying Bank Productions and StudioCanal.
  • Release Date: 14 June 2002.
  • Running Time: 94 minutes.
  • Country: Australia.
  • Language: English.

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