Film: 8288

War + Military | 1910 | Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

A mixture of staged and actuality footage. Excellent period dress of adults and children in evidence. Film celebrates the end of World War One.

Opening sequences: Recreated battle sequences possibly from World War One. A group of British or Australian foot soldiers advance across a landscape covered with barbed wire. As the soldiers appear to be moving towards the camera and off screen left, it is unlikely that this is real footage. German soldiers with guns fitted with bayonets behind a stone wall. A lone soldier crouches down and shoots his rifle. Another falls melodramatically. The British soldiers advance. Close-up of an officer falling after being shot. Wounded soldiers are placed on stretchers and carried away. Wounded soldiers being taken to a medical hospital. A pile of bodies. German soldiers have their helmets removed and are given medical assistance. (This part of the film is very washed out).
A parade going through a small Australian town. A static one camera set up is employed here and the following sequences appear to be real life sequences shot at the time. As the procession continues, we see first a military band, massed ranks of Australian soldiers, a horse and carriage decorated with flowers carrying two young girls. Orangemen parading with traditional sashes and regalia followed behind by a number of women. Young boys sit astride large horses and they and the young girls on the float carry small Union Jack flags. A fire engine carries a Boadicea look-alike. A float from Woonona Agricultural College with some unidentified flags on it is followed by a train of horses with ornate headgear. A jockey on horseback, a man on a motorcycle with sidecar and various actors dressed up pass by. A multitude of floats carrying women and children follow, some carrying American flags. It appears that this is a queen's parade which also enables people to demonstrate their belief in military victory. A group of primary school children walk past, accompanied by older schoolchildren. Film stock suggests this print is a duplicate that has been made some time after the event.
Intertitle - 'Lest We Forget! The Treaty of Brussels'. Close up on the treaty as follows: "We, William von Huhenzollern, before God and our people, do swear... in case of war, respect and observe the neutrality of Belgium, acknowledged to be inviolable by the other European states".
Intertitle - 'Lest We Forget! The Ruthless Destruction of Cathedrals'. Interior of Cathedral with stained glass windows. A very effective sequence follows. The centre of the frame is dominated by one of the stained glass windows through which the words 'Ypres', 'Arras' and two others shine through a white background. Flames leap up from the bottom of the frame and engulf the cathedral.
Intertitle - 'Lest We Forget! The Exiled Belgians'. Refugees move quickly behind a soldier. They are treated harshly by the soldiers. One rips up a drawing of an unidentified political leader.
Intertitle - Lest We Forget! Miss Edith Cavell. A photographic portrait of a woman
Intertitle - 'Lest We Forget! The Zeppelin Raids on London'. A classroom of children, walking out into a garden beyond. A Zeppelin flying over a populated area. Underside of Zeppelin. An explosion in the classroom. A pile of children's corpses. Zeppelin flying away and a woman holding the body of her child. Back to the medical assistant who, while holding the German's helmet has been thinking about this part of the narrative (early flashback?). The procession this time outside the small city on the outskirts. A women's organization ANZA is represented by a flag carried by some of its members. A young boy walks past with his bike. Two Orangemen carry a banner 'GUOOF Lodge, PEACE' The parade detailed earlier continues with the following additions. A six man crew walking with a large gun. A banner for the trolley. Drayman and Porters Union, followed by a train of ornately decorated horses, a wounded soldier trying on a false or wooden leg. Another shows off his false arm or prosthesis. A nurse prepares a large hamper for a journey. Her car is filled with medical supplies and her colleagues wave her off. An ambulance follows. Smiling nurses serve tea to the soldiers. A wounded soldier carves a piece of wood as a nurse watches and helps. A group of soldiers play cards. Various shots of soldiers relaxing, playing croquet and milling around. Good panning shot of hospital with nurses and soldiers in the vicinity. Back to the procession. Here clearly identified as 1919 from the bottom of the Trolley and Drayman's banner. The nurse seen earlier dealing with soldiers who have clearly lost limbs, one of them wearing a Scottish regimental hat.


To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 8288.