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Imperial War Museum Films

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Holmes Lecture Film (5 reels)

Object description

Compilation of British official film to support an unknown lecture on the First World War, probably compiled immediately post-1918.
Full description

Five reels of stockshots of the Western Front, with no apparent theme or linking sequence. The majority of the material for all but the final reel comes from IWM 191 BATTLE OF THE SOMME. The majority of the material for the last reel comes from IWM 344 YPRES - THE SHELL-SHATTERED CITY OF FLANDERS [1918 version] with fragments and items from a number of other films. All the material is British official film.
Physical description

35mm

Mike

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Mesopotamia (11.07)

Object description

Very jumbled film of British forces in the Battle of Ramadi, Mesopotamian Front, 28-29 September 1917.
Full description

Probably offcuts from IWM 61 WITH THE FORCES IN MESOPOTAMIA. (Reel 1) Camouflaged 60-pounder guns firing dug in. A gunner observing from a perch, possibly close to Ramadi. Indian troops unload sacks from a train. A prone Lewis machine-gunner firing. British soldiers filling water buckets. A close-up of the feed action on a Vickers machine gun as it fires from a trench. An 18-pounder battery firing in the desert. Turkish 1-pounder pom-pom guns and machine guns captured at Ramadi and put on display. Shells bursting in the desert filmed from a trench. A walled city by the River Tigris with a railway station, probably Samarra. Indian troops fire through loopholes in a heavily sandbagged trench. An observation tower made from sandbags. A 6-inch 30cwt howitzer being loaded and fired. Highlanders, probably 2nd Battalion, Black Watch of 7th (Meerut) Division, march through the streets of Samarra with Lieutenant-General Sir William Marshall (?) accompanying them. A Holt tractor hauls a 60-pounder through the desert. (Reel 2) Turkish prisoners captured during the Battle of Ramadi are marched by 1/5th Battalion, the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) through the desert, over a bridge of boats across the River Tigris at Baghdad, through 'Piccadilly Circus' and 'New Street' Baghdad and on to a prisoner of war camp.
Physical description

35mm

Mike

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The advance in Palestine (12.43)

Object description

I. The advance of the Desert Mounted Corps from Nablus to Haifa following the Battle of Mediggo, Palestine Front, 21-27 September 1918.


II. Recruit training by the Royal Air Force at the Senior Officers' School at Heliopolis and the Imperial School of Instruction at Zeitoun, Egypt, late 1918.
Full description

(Reel 1) Most of the scenes are of Indian troops of 15th Cavalry Brigade, 5th Cavalry Division. Also shown in the advance are the Nottinghamshire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and 'A' Battery of the Honourable Artillery Company; part of 5th Mounted Brigade, Australian Mounted Division; and 1st Spahi Cavalry Regiment of the French Contingent. (Reel 2) There is a brief scene of Lieutenant-General Sir Philip Chetwode arriving at the Jewish settlement of Zimmaria. The advance continues along the Sea of Galilee, Lake Tiberias, and to Haifa. Indian Cavalry bring in German and Turkish prisoners.


(Reel 3) Recruits are given a medical examination, then instruction as pilots and training with the Lewis machine gun as air-gunners. (Reel 4) A training flight by a DH6 bomber and a demonstration of the assembly of an Airco DH9 by Royal Air Force and Women's Royal Air Force personnel, aided by Arab workers. The aircraft is assembled from parts sent out from Britain. (Reel 5) More scenes of the work done by the Zeitoun and Heliopolis training schools in instructing RAF personnel. (Reel 6) An Avro 504A aircraft takes off and demonstrates stunt flying. Part of the sequence is filmed from an aircraft in flight. The film ends with a montage of aircraft in flight, in no particular order, including a Martinsyde Elephant and a Farman Shorthorn, probably all stockshots.
Physical description

35mm

Mike

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Sur la struma avec l'armee Grecque (9.04)

Object description

French film of Greek forces on the Salonika Front, 1916-1917.
Full description

(Reel 1) General Paraskevopoulos directs his country's forces in the River Struma valley, which includes the Rupel Pass, supported by fire from British 6-inch howitzers and French 155mm howitzers. The French General Nider surveying the area. King Alexander of Greece visiting the front with General Gérome. (Reel 2) Premier Venizelos at the 1st Division headquarters in Athens, presenting new colours to the Greek 34th Infantry Regiment. Colonel Tsolacopolos receives the colours for his regiment. Among the gathering are an Orthodox priest and General Bordeaux, the head of the French mission. (Reel 3) General Zymbrakakis directs operations in the Skra valley (showing his own troops, fire support from French 155mm howitzers, and Bulgarian prisoners of war.) King Alexander inspecting Greek soldiers. The King in Athens with the Duke of Connaught, visiting as Britain's representative, inspecting a parade, meeting with Venizelos and taking the salute. Finally, a group of refugees arriving at a temporary camp and repairing or building their houses there.
Physical description

35mm

Mike

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With the Kut relief force in Mesopotamia (16.37)

Object description

The advance of the Kut Relief Force from Basra upriver until the fall of Kut-el-Amara, 5 December 1915 to 29 April 1916.
Full description

Basra, showing 'The Strand', followed by people in the bazaar and by light canoes, 'ballams', on the river (both scenes probably acted). Genuine film of troops in barges being towed upriver by paddle steamers, passing Ezra's Tomb, half-way between Basra and Kut. Marsh Arabs follow the boat. A bows-on shot of a British river gunboat, probably Insect Class. Troops on a paddle steamer with improvised mosquito nets. An acted scene of a soldier eating while surrounded by flies. Genuine scene of Arab 'mahaila' sailboats. Indian soldiers on board a paddle steamer. The British advanced position at Fallahiya on or about 5 April, showing a Napier light lorry and an Indian converted 1915 Fiat armoured car being unloaded from a ship, along with an 18-pounder being manhandled into position. Mule wagons with Indian drivers moving up. British troops in the trenches at Abu Rumman, captured on 5 April. A hospital ship docking at Fallahiya, and some of the 1,136 sick and wounded evacuated from Kut after the surrender disembarking and being taken to a field hospital. (Note the packing case in the field hospital scene, marked "OC Flying Column Oran". This might be Ora, near Fallahiya, but there is no record of a field hospital there.)
Physical description

35mm

Mike

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Army Service Corps (9.45)

Object description

Jumbled, out-of-sequence film of the Army Service Corps during the First World War, containing two main themes and a collection of unrelated scenes, all in England.

Full description

I. The first main theme is civilian recruits volunteering for the ASC outside the Central Recruiting Office in Whitehall, London. They are marched to the railway station. Arriving at a suburban station they are formed up and marched to the barracks, where they are inspected and issued with uniforms and equipment. II. The second main theme is of ASC troops preparing to leave their camp, probably for active service. The men are inspected and their methods of folding their kit are checked. The officers are issued with their orders. The departing troops, in 3-ton lorries (mainly Thornycroft, some Maudslay) are cheered by other members of the ASC, ambulance drivers who wait beside the road for their departure. The soldiers, as they wait, are handed mail and their paybooks. They cheer the camera. III. The remaining scenes are related to neither main theme. A group of ASC soldiers waiting in the road beside their depot joke with two passing lady bicyclists before being called to order and marched away. Rifle range practice. A pay parade for motor transport drivers. Distribution of letters. A mastiff, the depot mascot. Unloading packages from 3-ton lorries. ASC carpenters and blacksmiths at work by the roadside. A joke boxing match, including one blindfold bout, and a mop fight. Soldiers watching some form of entertainment while eating indoors. A demonstration of how to get a lorry out of a ditch with a tow-rope. A group of ASC soldiers, one walking on his hands for the camera. A meal out of doors. Two soldiers writing home (staged). An ASC driver shaving by using the plastic window of his lorry as a mirror.

Physical description

35mm

Mike

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A Chinese labour contingent (8.42)

Object description

The Chinese Labour Corps on the Western Front, 1917.

Full description

The film, under-exposed, shows Chinese Labour Corps members working at a docks, carrying away sacks which come down on a sling from a dockside crane. They have difficulty with the sacks, but one large Chinese, after several failures, demonstrates to the camera that he can carry three sacks at once. They leave the docks marching in column. Other members of the Corps work in a stoneyard, shovelling granite chippings and road-fill out of light railway trucks. Another group works in the timber yard, carrying planks to a stack. Yet another collects water in collapsible buckets, slung on a pole between two men. At their camp, members of the Corps queue up to receive tinned rations, and a British soldier demonstrates to a bemused Chinese how to use a tin-opener. The members of the Corps form up on parade. The final scenes are of several Chinese carrying baskets suspended between poles, and of others sitting and eating.

Physical description

35mm

Mike

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47th stationary hospital, Gaza, and troops in Palestine (14.13)


Object description

I. The British Army 47th Stationary Hospital, showing the ward tents, the patients' dining tents, the nurses' dining tent and the local Arab helpers. Gaza, Palestine Front, 1918 (?).


II. Arab soldiers and an officer wearing British-style uniforms with burnouses, as new recruits to the King of Hejaz' Army, Palestine Front, 1918.


III. Almond picking in the Jewish settlement at Rishon le Zion, Palestine Front, probably 1918.


IV. German prisoners being escorted through Jerusalem by Australian and Indian horsemen, Palestine Front, 1918.
Full description

III. A study of the inhabitants as they pick almonds, including a lady "of low caste" (according to the shotsheet) a girl and a veiled lady of high caste. It is not clear whether these are Jewish or Moslem women.


IV. Some of the prisoners are taken away in lorries from the Turkish barracks at Mount Zion, escorted by Australian Light Horse. Other German prisoners are led through the streets of Jerusalem by an escort of Hyderabad Lancers and Australian Light Horse. (According to the shotsheet the prisoners were "hooted by the Jews".)
Physical description

35mm


Mike

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Cavalry equitation school (7.58)


Object description

British Cavalry training exercises at the Cavalry Equitation School, Cayeux, Western Front, 30 July 1918.
Full description

A Cavalry troop makes a charge across the face of the camera, thrusting with swords or lances at sacks stuffed with straw on the ground. All the demonstrators are riding light, without bandoliers, valises or helmets, throughout. Lancers charge wooden mockups of field guns from the flank, thrusting at targets around the guns. Swordsmen charge knockover dummies their own height, representing mounted opponents. A high jump, "Lion's Leap", is leapt by ten riders. More swordsmen, riding in extended order, charge knockover dummies representing kneeling soldiers. About ten riders make an open order charge straight at the camera. They continue over a combination jump, with one dummy to strike before the jump and one after. Another jump, "the double Oxo [sic]" (should be double oxer), is coped with. Several riders manage to jump "Lion's Leap" with a second horse on a lead rein.
Physical description

35mm


Mike

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Mining activity on the British front (25.28)


Object description

Largely dramatised account of a tunnelling company of Royal Engineers planting and exploding a mine under a German position on the Western Front, early 1916.
Full description

I. The tunnelling company loads itself and its equipment into lorries, unloads at the end of the journey, and enters the trench system. At the minehead shaft one man wearing breathing apparatus checks for gas. The men dig at the tunnel face until the captain in charge hears, through a tube, German countermining going on. Explosive charges are brought down the shaft, set in position, the men retire to the surface and a young second-lieutenant checks the electric firing circuit. Highlanders close by take cover in the crater of "the Hohenzollern redoubt" (?). The mine is exploded, followed by two more scenes of mine or shell explosions. The Highlanders run forward to take the crater. Other British troops run forward through a trench system and a machine gun opens fire. Two more mines explode by a treeline. II. At this point the film breaks up into random scenes. A party of British soldiers walks down a shallow trench as if on patrol when suddenly it is pelted with mud from off-camera, exposing the fake. Canadian (?) sappers with a detonator fire another charge and then go forward to inspect the recently-blown craters by the treeline.
Physical description

35mm



Mike

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stripeyman

There appear to be many hours of very good footage now available at the IWM site. Not sure if this is 'old hat' but I have not seen many of these before. A few examples to follow, feel free to add more.

Mons

Kitchener-A Great Servant of a Great Empire

Scenes on the Menin Road

Arrival of Private Heavyside VC in Stanley

Mike

Scenes on the Menin Road, not all on the Menin Road of course. The first is taken with Spoil bank behind the camera and was the subject of Stand To! The Camera Returns No 78

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John(txic)

Please.

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Guest

OK John, will do.

British advance on the Euphrates under the command of Maj-Gen Brooking (14.15)

Object description

The advance of 15th Indian Division up the Euphrates valley, Mesopotamian Front, 1918.
Full description

A column of Ford light trucks carrying "supplies". (Compare with the same scene in IWM 68). Men of the Gurkha Rifles moving through an RFA park. Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, the Norfolk Regiment, wading across the River Diyala at Masina on 22 April. Armoured cars being towed across the river. Turkish prisoners on camels crossing the river. One 60-pounder being pulled across the river by British troops, another being transported by a tow ferry. Burmese sappers building a trestle bridge over the river on 16 April. Indian and British soldiers starting to dig a trench system. Indian machine-gunners practising with the Lewis machine gun. A 6-inch howitzer being fired. A view of the river gunboat HMS Caddis Fly (?). Shell fire on the Turkish positions, followed by a staged Turkish surrender and the prisoners being escorted through the desert. A small British soda-water machine, to produce drinks "for the wounded". (Compare with the same scene in IWM 61.) An ass-drawn scoop and water-channel drawing water from the River Diyala.
Physical description

35mm

Mike

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judy7007

There are many more. Will I keep posting?

Mike

Yes please. Very many thanks

Judy

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Guest

OK Judy, one for you.

With Lawrence in Arabia (15.51)


Object description

Compilation film of events in Arabia, autumn 1917 to spring 1918.
Full description

A portrait still of Colonel T E Lawrence. The embarkation of supplies and sheep on SS Ozarda at Port Said, the journey to Jidda, and the disembarkation. Some irregular Bedouin horsemen of Prince Feisal's forces 'charge' the camera. Lawrence and Feisal drive along a road in a Ford Model T with an escort of Bedouins. A squadron of Lawrence's armoured cars moves along a desert road. Feisal stands with his men. Finally Feisal's troops "moving up to battle" (no enemy in sight).
Physical description

16mm


Mike

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Guest

Bit of a strange title?

Flame thrown out of gas ejector (ledger title) (18.41)


Object description

I. Training exercises of a British assault on German trenches, covered by smoke shells. The equipment, tactics and terrain are consistent with the Flanders offensive, Western Front, 1917.


II. A lorry-mounted 13-pounder anti-aircraft gun fires out to sea. The crew wear gas masks. The firing finishes and the gun drives off. Possibly Western Front, 1916-1918.


III. A British demonstration of gas warfare on the Western Front, showing methods of releasing gas, techniques of placing gas cylinders in trenches, anti-gas drill and the correct way to wear the large box respirator, 1916. Includes a close-up of a bottle marked 'Chloropicrin', a vomiting agent and lachrymator (tear gas).


IV. A British soldier in a flame-proof suit demonstrates a portable flame-thrower, probably 1917.
Physical description

35mm


Mike

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With the Indian troops (18.40)


Object description

Compilation film in five episodes of the Indian forces on the Western Front, Mesopotamian Front and Palestine Front, 1915-1918.
Full description

I. The first reel shows men of the Indian Corps (including British soldiers) in France in January 1916. It is taken unaltered, in a slightly re-edited form, from IWM 202 INDIAN TROOPS AT THE FRONT. II. The middle three reels show scenes of Mesopotamia 1917-1918. Although Indian soldiers appear in the film it does not in any way single them out or emphasise them above British soldiers or the events of the campaign. The material is taken directly from the series ADVANCE OF THE CRUSADERS INTO MESOPOTAMIA. III. The last reel shows scenes of Palestine in 1918. Although Indian troops are shown, mainly from 7th (Meerut) Division, they are in no way given special prominence. The material is taken directly from IWM 30 ALLENBY MEETS WEIZMANN - TEL-EL-JELIL AND ARSULF.
Physical description

35mm


Mike

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Miscellaneous First World War Naval material (14.14)

Object description

Collection of miscellaneous naval scenes from the First World War.
Full description

I. 9.2-inch coastal gun is reloaded.
Content description

II. Medium shot of HMS Walker (G.08) steaming at speed in a slight sea. Medium close-up of a sailor of HMS Woolston, playing with a kitten.


III. Long shot views of surrendering German destroyers and their British escorts. Long shot of SMS Kaiser, and pan left to Koenig Albert.


IV. Medium shot off the port beam of a King George V battleship - the frame cuts bow and stern.


V. Flotilla of coastal motor boats at sea.


VI. Tracking medium close-up past starboard forebody of a Royal Sovereign Class battleship. HMS Iron Duke passes beneath the Forth Bridge.


VII. Medium shot of SMS Bremse underway.


VIII. Medium shot off the port bow of a King George V Class battleship. The focsle is crowded with crewmen.


IX. Medium long shot from the bridge of a battleship, her crew manning the side, as she closes on HMS Canada. Medium shot of Canada as HMS Oak (92) heaves to alongside. Steam launch, flying the Royal Standard, approaches from Oak. View from control top.


X. Admiral Wemyss and Captain Pringle USN (cf IWM 564). Close-up of anonymous commodore RN, and junior officers.


XI. Medium shot off the starboard beam of HMS Bellerophon in anchorage.


XII. SMS Koenigsberg and Frankfurt pass right to left. Long shot of an airship over line of surrendering German destroyers.


XIII. HMS Orpheus (F.17) and HMS Anzac (G.70) go past - sea conditions vary between shots.


XIV. SMS Seydlitz underway.


XV. Frontal close-up of a destroyer's 4-inch gun.


XVI. Camera vessel closes on UC.58 (cf IWM 1154).


XVII. HMS Norman (G.54) passes at speed in slight sea.


XVIII. Medium shot of SMS Derfflinger as camera vessel crosses her starboard bow.


XIX. Naval ratings stand with sloped arms, ready for inspection.


XX. Medium shot off the port beam of a Royal Sovereign Class battleship underway. Focsle cut by frame. Ship moves offscreen. Land background.


XXI. HMS Vindictive alongside jetty.


XXII. Trawlers alongside quay.


XXIII. US Men's Club, Queenstown (cf IWM 564).


XXIV. Medium shot off the port bow of a Koenigsberg (II) Class light cruiser. Medium long shot of UE.1 and U.43 Class submarines. Medium shot of camouflaged UB.133 Class vessel (cf IWM 1154).


XXV. High-angle medium shot from the control top down the starboard side, HMS Canada. Reverse low-angle medium shot of the bridge and R/F.


XXVI. Medium shot as HMS Renown passes right to left.


XXVII. As sequence XXI.


XXVIII. High-angle medium shot of motor launches moored alongside - including ML.397, ML.559 and ML.351. A crewman uncovers 3-pounder deck gun - in the background, crewmen of two other launches watch him and the camera. Sequence showing MLs laying a smokescreen at sea.


XXIX. Beatty onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth after the presentation of the Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon. Medium close-up of Beatty, Madden and Funakoshi. Facial close-up of Rear-Admiral Funakoshi - he salutes.
Physical description

35mm


Mike

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