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Remembered Today:

Somme film footage shot 25th September 1916


bmac
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Wonder if anyone has any detailed knowledge of footage filmed on the Somme on 25th September 1916 (Tank day). I was just reading through a letter written from hospital by my grandfather to my grandmother. The letter is difficult to read because he wrote it with his left hand, his right arm having been smashed on this day by three machine gun bullets (one of which cut his pay book in half. I have the item). In it he refers to being 'cinematographed' before going into action. I wonder whether the film was used/survived? He was in the 4th Londons (56th Division) which were about to attack the northern end of Bouleaux Wood. I do not have the booklets that go with the Somme films but, if anyone has them to hand, it would be interesting to know whether any such footage appears in the second one.

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Bill

Do you mean 15 September 1916? As far as I remember, no tanks were used on the 25th (at least, not to the south where the Guards were). The 15th is Tank Day.

Mike

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Yes, don't know what I as thinking. My grandad won the MC on the 15th but was wounded on the 25th. Getting old and confused. Anyway, the filming was still the 25th according to the letter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have a look at "The Tanks on the Somme" by Trevor Pidgeon.

He confirms there were tanks in the area of Bouleaux and Leuze Wood on 25 September but were tasked to operate towards Combles. The Guards Division commander was allocated tanks on that day but decided not to use them,.There were also tanks in action that day at Martinpuich, Courcelette and several near Thiepval.

The real sadness is that Mallins had the chance to photograph "Daphne" in action on 15 September at Martinpuich but, remarkably, did not do so. He did , of course, take a picture of her. her crew, and Percy the Tank Cat at a later stage but I have never been able to find out of what date.

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There are a number of newsreel clips at The National Film Board site purporting to show tanks in action during September 1916. The Canadian interest of course is for the action toward Courcelette but other clips are supposed to show action of the 56th Division. One even claims to show "The London Boys" going over and being shelled on the way.

One must take these clips with caution. They are often mixed up and the captions may be unreiable.

One is entitled "Sons of Our Empire Episode 4" and can be found here"

http://www3.nfb.ca/includes/player/player_full.php?_onfplr_sel=viewfull&film=id=538097&formats=default&speeds=default&use_cc=no&use_dv=no&f=flash&t=normal&s=hv&pm=rtmp%3A%2F%2Fflash.nfb.ca%2FWW1%2Ffilms%2Fhv%2F54458.flv&w=640&h=512&c=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.onf.ca%2Fenclasse%2Fgrandeguerre%2Ffr%2Fplayer%2Fplayer.css&pp=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.onf.ca%2Fenclasse%2Fgrandeguerre%2Ffr%2Fplayer%2Fplayer_full.swf&cn=grandeguerre&ct=2500000&ttl=Images+d%27une+guerre+oubli%E9e&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.nfb.ca%2Fincludes%2Fplayer%2F&lg=fr&ss=&pmvroot=%2Fvar%2Fnfb%2Fapache%2Fhtdocs%2Fphplib%2F&pmvurl=grandeguerre%2F&pmvsid=%2Fstats%2F&pmvpage=17&pmvglob=1

Another is entitled "To Willie With Compliments" and can be found here:

http://www3.nfb.ca/includes/player/player_full.php?_onfplr_sel=viewfull&film=id=531389&formats=default&speeds=default&use_cc=no&use_dv=no&f=flash&t=normal&s=hv&pm=rtmp%3A%2F%2Fflash.nfb.ca%2FWW1%2Ffilms%2Fhv%2F52443.flv&w=640&h=512&c=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.onf.ca%2Fenclasse%2Fgrandeguerre%2Ffr%2Fplayer%2Fplayer.css&pp=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.onf.ca%2Fenclasse%2Fgrandeguerre%2Ffr%2Fplayer%2Fplayer_full.swf&cn=grandeguerre&ct=2500000&ttl=Images+d%27une+guerre+oubli%E9e&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.nfb.ca%2Fincludes%2Fplayer%2F&lg=fr&ss=&pmvroot=%2Fvar%2Fnfb%2Fapache%2Fhtdocs%2Fphplib%2F&pmvurl=grandeguerre%2F&pmvsid=%2Fstats%2F&pmvpage=17&pmvglob=1

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The Courcelette images shows Creme de Menthe on 15 September.

The tank moving though a wood is also a C Company tank -a female fitted with the anti grenade roof which must be from 3,4 or 4 Sections but sadly, being a rear view, there is no clue to her identitfy

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