SONS OF OUR EMPIRE. EPISODE 3
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British preparations during the later Somme offensive, Western Front, autumn 1916.
I. (Reel 5) Impressionistic to the point of incoherence. Starting with troops disembarking at a harbour. Marching columns, some of them identified: the Devonshire Regiment, some Scots, the Bedfordshire Regiment, the Black Watch (?), joined by 18-pounders and a Mark I female tank of 'A' Company H/MGC. British Cavalry move up along a road. A Mark I female tank, identified by the caption as HMLS 'Créme [sic] de Menthe' of 'C' Company H/MGC. West Africans of the Labour Corps unload shells at a dump. Other shells, from 15-inch to 18-pounder, are distributed. Another tank, a Mark I male, possibly HMLS 'Devil's Own' of 'D' Company H/MGC. A 60-pounder stuck in mud. Canadian 15th Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) (?) and 17th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers of 35th (Bantam) Division (?) on the march. An observation kite balloon is raised. Two 6-inch guns fire. Pioneers of the Royal Sussex Regiment, Durham Light Infantry and "Northants" (? possibly Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) march along. Australians (?) on the march. A Mark I female tank moving up. II. (Reel 6) Indians of 4th or 5th Cavalry Division relax at their camp. "New Zealanders" (? possibly Australian 2nd Division) entraining. 6-inch howitzers being pulled forwards by their teams. An 18-pounder shell dump. FE2b and FE2d bombers, probably 20 Squadron RFC, take off on patrol. Men of the Guards Division march to their positions. A 12-inch railway gun, probably 'HMG Boche Buster', fires. More men of the Guards Division. 9.2-inch howitzers of 55th Royal Australian Siege Artillery (?) fire. The bombardment includes also 60-pounders, 6-inch Mk VII guns, 18-pounders and 8-inch howitzers. The Cavalry wait to move up. An RE7 observation plane takes off, showing the view down onto the waiting battlefield.
Catalogue entry from Imperial War Museum: http://film.iwmcollections.org.uk/record/index/45081
Reference number F246427
Collection Film and Video Collection
Media type Moving Image
Series Sons Of Our Empire
Place of Production UNITED KINGDOM
Production company War Office Cinema Committee, Topical Film Company
Producer: William F Jury
Camera: Geoffrey H Malins
Related Link IWM Catalogue Entry