Australian forces in France

Running time
4 min 38 sec
Place made
Cinematographer: Herbert Baldwin and film edited by Charles Bean. This silent film deals with the arrival of the AIF in France from Egypt in March-April 1916, the early Australian experience of trench warfare, artillery bombardments and the operations around Pozières in July and August 1916

Text description

[On a black text card, a plain border surrounds the words "The King watched the bombardment of Pozieres while the Australians were holding it."

Standing in a field with a group of officers, the King peers through a long thin telescope. Above a flat barren landscape, a dark cloud of smoke puffs high in the air. More smoke billows along the horizon. The King lowers his telescope. The officer beside him speaks. The King raises the telescope again. Dark puffs of smoke explode above the dark field. Standing near mounds of pale earth, the King points out into the desolate landscape. Officers speak and point, One points with his stick. An officer leads the king and other officers down a slope and past a dugout.

Text card: Australian troops straight from Pozieres give three cheers for the King.

A large group of soldiers in long coats and slouch hats wave enthusiastically. Many wave their hats. The soldiers cover a slope by the side of a road. Smiling, they wave at the camera. A soldier points away from the camera, still waving, the others turn in that direction.

Text card: Australians cheering their comrades who are moving out into rest area straight from the thick of the fight.

Smiling soldiers march down the road, some in helmets, some in slouch hats. On the crowded slopes near the road, soldiers wave their hats. Two soldiers ride bicycles.

Text card: Scottish troops fought side by side with the Australians. They march out, and are watched by Canadians and New Zealanders, who succeeded the Australians in the great battlefield.

Officers and soldiers gathered by railway tracks watch ranks of soldiers march past. The landscape beyond is shrouded in mist. Two civilian men in suits and hats stand near the officers. An officer with a crooked stick under his arm turns away and lights a cigarette.

Text card: The unveiling of the memorial to the Officers, N.C.O.'s, and men of the 1st Australian Division who fell in the Taking of Pozieres, July 1916.

Soldiers wearing slouch hats stand in neat ranks, holding their rifles vertically on their shoulders. An Australian flag and a white cloth are pulled away, revealing a tall white Celtic cross. Hundreds of soldiers lower their rifles from their shoulders and present arms in unison. The words "1st Australian Division AIF" are inscribed in dark letters on the cross which stands on top of a mound. A large wreath rests at the base of the cross.

The Rising Sun badge appears in white on a black screen. A semicircle of sword and bayonet blades arches over a crown. Below, two curved scrolls read "Australian Commonwealth Military Forces".]

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