Cinema of WWI
A young film industry just settling into its own home - the cinema - found itself enlisted to record, report and dramatise a war unlike any other.
The films made during and just after World War I have a special directness, untainted as they are by layers of mythologising and cliché built up over the decades. There is a great variety of news, comedy and heartrending drama. A genre unique to this period of film production is the battle reconstruction film: the film equivalent of the stone memorials still to be found in every town and village of the UK.
War1992115 mins Location: Trawsfynydd
The stirring story of poet Ellis Evans-Hedd Wyn, the Welsh poet posthumously awarded the Eisteddfod chair at Birkenhead in 1917 after failing to return from 1st World War trenches.
Anti-German War Cartoons
Trick film19155 minsSilent
Follow the lightning-quick hand of the artist behind a series of comic cartoon sketches poking fun at the enemy during WWI.
Lt Pimple and the Stolen Submarine
Comedy191414 minsSilent Location: Twickenham
The intrepid Lieutenant Pimple thwarts foreign enemies in an action-packed wartime spy spoof.
Animation & Artists Moving Image19151 minsSilent
Pioneering visual graphics – with added cotton wool – recreate an incendiary WWI incident involving a stricken British submarine.
Animation & Artists Moving Image19146 minsSilent
Lightning sketch propaganda stirs outrage about Reims bombing, and features a British bulldog eating the German sausage
The British in Belgium
School programme and Educational film193011 minsSilent
In Flanders fields - this educational compilation of WWI footage tries to teach the most important lesson of all: never again
Blinded Soldiers Playing Push Ball
Sport19161 minsSilent Location: Catford
This moving scene of wounded WWI fighters in a London park reminds us of the real costs of combat.
Preparing the Rations
Ear-to-ear grins prove that an army marches on its stomach in this poignant film of young WWI reservists at a field kitchen far from home.
Chiswick's Gallant Gunner
Non-Fiction19161 minsSilent Location: Chiswick
Three cheers for Maurice Samuels, as a Chiswick tram driver receives a medal for bravery at the Western Front at Ypres.
Preston and District Roll of Honour, 10th Series
Roll of Honour film19152 minsSilent Location: Preston
Moving record of relatives waving a fond farewell to departing loved ones during WWI.
Eyes of the Fleet: A Destroyer Flotilla Scouting
A fleeting (sorry) but reassuring glimpse of a flotilla of Royal Navy destroyers on the skyline during WWI.
The Man Who Came Back
The son of a wealthy merchant fakes his own death to join up, but his heroic act at the Front is wrongly attributed to his cowardly cousin.
World War One Troops Inspection
Non-Fiction19151 minsSilent Location: London
Brigades of stretcher-bearers and Cyclist Corps soldiers straighten their spines for parade. But who? And where?
To Aid the Motherland
Non-Fiction19151 minsSilent Location: Salisbury Plain
Poignant scenes capture a moment’s relaxation for a Canadian cavalry unit on Salisbury Plain.
Labour's Recruiting Appeal
Non-Fiction19151 minsSilent Location: Trafalgar Square
Stirring scenes in Trafalgar Square as Labour MP Will Thorne rallies recruits for the war effort.
Gaumont Graphic No. 406
Non-Fiction19155 minsSilent Location: Buckingham Palace
This intriguing and beautifully-shot newsreel features sea-faring heroes, feisty females and a generous lick of paint for a Mississippi steamship.
Newsreel War Compilation
Graduates of machine gun school mix with the great and the good of WWI in this eclectic mix of newsreel from WWI and after