Semi-contemporary material of the first British forces in France and the creation of the massed armies in Britain at the start of the First World War, 1914-1916.
Arrival of the Indian Corps in Marseilles in September 1914. A montage of recruiting posters. Civilians are exhorted to join the Army. They queue at the Central London Recruiting Office in Westminster. Good interior shots of the recruiting hall, showing men waiting to join up and clerks taking details. A new recruit swears on the bible. New recruits, and civilian cars requisitioned by the government. Welshmen of 38th Division prepare to lay up their regimental colours in the Guildhall before going overseas. "From the four corners of the World, Britain's sons rallied to the flag to save the Empire and to crush German Kaiserism, the would-be God of the universe, the despoiler of nations, the enslaver of civilisations." Troops from Canada, Australia and New Zealand (? probably Australian 1st Division) in France. Egyptians are recruited for the Egyptian Labour Corps and fighting troops, who "leave amid the cheers for the battlefields of France" (no Egyptian fighting troops served in France). British destroyers escort troop crossings over the English Channel in gale conditions. Meanwhile, for the regulars in the front line "mud was everywhere - they ate in it, drank in it, slept in it, swore and cursed in it, prayed to God and fought in it, but like true Britons they HELD ON". Troops of the Guards Division in the Loos sector in December 1915 in very muddy conditions. At a station in Britain a Highland regiment boards a troop train, "hold on lads, we're coming !"
Catalogue entry from Imperial War Museum: http://film.iwmcollections.org.uk/record/index/45338