Film: 5043

War + Military | 1980 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

The role of the railways in World War One or the first world war

Somme narrow gauge railway. View of the war memorial at Thiepval, France. Film of grave sites in the 1980's and flashbacks with archival material in the 1910's. Close up of the monument with some of the 74000 names inscribed. Monument shows dates of 1915, 1916 and 1918. Young people lay wreaths at the memorial. There are relics of the old railway and battlefield still surviving seventy years later. View of a narrow gauge railway and sound of a steam train. A boat passes on the nearby Somme canal. A tourist train moves along with open sided carriages, summer time. J. Huntley addresses the camera from one of the open carriages.

Film of the trains in the Great War. A flat snowy landscape with horses. Men travel on open trucks. Loading and unloading goes on. Ammunition and shells handled by cheerful soldiers. Views from the trucks of towns and villages devastated by warfare. Standard railways smashed to smithereens. Views of modern restored locomotives. The old railway is being restored by volunteers. J. Huntley walks and talks to M. Blondam who has been the key figure in restoring the railway. They view the worlds largest collection of 60cm gauge engines. They enter the cab of a U.S.A. built engine.

Film of men laying a track for a railway in South Africa during the Boer War. Film from 1899 by Jim Rosenthall. Sometimes mules pull the trucks. World War 1 train pushed by a tank engine. The train crosses a standard gauge railway line. Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway during WW2. This was an armoured train.
Footage of women taking over the railways 2WW. They are cleaning a 4-6-0 LNER engine No.4846. They could do everything on the railways but drive the trains.

Footage of the Burma - Siam railway in World War Two. Men working in sunshine. A train crosses the bridge over the River Kwai. Trains being shot up in 1944. Old trucks are reclaimed and restored by volunteers. A tourist train passes the camera. Flashback to the 1st WW footage of goods and soldiers being transported, Soldiers on the Picardy railway. Trains were often shot at. King George V visits the front in an open sided railway carriage. Men receive decorations from the King. One man receives the Victoria Cross. Modern day workers doing an assortment of jobs. Families help with the restoration work.

J. Huntlery interviews a First World war veteran M. Farjar. He is rather amusing as he is weighed down with the medals pinnned to his chest.

During the WW1 soldiers build the railway. A tank engine takes water from a pool.
A train made up of 1WW trucks trundles along. A view of the line from the cab. The train viewed from the fields. Pictures of a 'Pershing' truck (made for USA soldiers when they entered the war in 1917.) Tourists photograph the bemedalled veteran. John Huntley and the veteran soldier talk on a moving tourist rain Close up of tank engine traveling at speed. Soldiers jumping onto a moving train. Close up of British soldiers in tin hats riding in the trucks. The train seen from a distance over a cornfield. - End.


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