1918 on Film
The final year of the war was a tough one for British film, but the industry did its patriotic best.
1918 in British cinema inevitably centred on the war. With shortages of personnel and materiel, production dwindled to a trickle of feature length dramas and the usual mix of newsreels, interest films and comedies. These were increasingly influenced by Government propaganda, which had got into its stride just as the war was coming to a close. There was even an attempt to make an officially sanctioned morale-boosting feature film - known for a time as 'The National Film' but surviving only as a fragment called Victory and Peace. Meanwhile, even some non-official films - like Maurice Elvey's Nelson, the Story of an Immortal Hero - focused on patriotic subjects.
Comedies, too, reflected the times. One of the best is Trips and Tribunals, in which Lupino Lane plays a succession of reluctant conscripts begging for exemption from war service. Also in a comic vein were a charming series of films made by and starring celebrity couple Henry Edwards and Chrissie White, exhorting citizens to recycle and save food. Other stars, including Alma Taylor, Ivy Close and Violet Hopson, also played parts in recruiting films for the Land Girls, which make fascinating to compare with similar drives during the Second World War.
This collection is generously supported by the Charles Skey Charitable Trust.
Mr Butterbun presides over a tribunal dealing with cases of men presenting excuses to avoid the First World War draft.
Shot, blown up and stitched back together, wartime’s biggest and most colourful piece of propaganda is squeezed into Mayfair in this 1918 newsreel.
Non-Fiction191815 mins Location: Rosyth
The surrender of the German fleet at the end of WW1 and the visit of King George V and the Prince of Wales to USS New York at Rosyth.
Brave Royal Flying Corps (later RAF) pilots put early parachute designs to the test. It’s hair-raising stuff!
Documentary191818 mins Location: Iwerne Minster
These vignettes of village life during WWI in Iwerne Minster, Dorset, are testament to the industriousness of its inhabitants.
Camberwell - Dedication of the Borough Mace at the Licensed Victuallers Asylum Chapel, Asylum Road, S.E.
Non-Fiction19183 mins Location: Camberwell
Mayors, bishops and clergymen march through Camberwell to the asylum, better known today as Caroline Gardens.
Life in the Royal Flying Corps. A series of unedited shots give us an insight into the military and social life of the early years of the RAF.
Non-Fiction19185 mins Location: Royal Albert Hall
Topical Budget salutes Britain's top brass in this gleefully patriotic newsreel edition, released just weeks after the First World War was won.
Non-Fiction191815 mins Location: Glasgow
The 'Tank Bank' tours through Scotland, selling War Bonds, raising money for the war effort and boosting morale
“Mosque and picturesque scenes in Palestine now occupied by the British" – the Mosque of Omar, or Dome of the Rock, has been “freed” by British troops.
Non-Fiction19185 mins Location: Merthyr Tydfil
Julian', a battle-scarred tank, is the toast of Merthyr in June 1918. Spot 3 women without hats in the crowd that greets the monster guest.