This film is part of Free

Aldershot Military Centenary

Aldershot celebrates its centenary year with bunting, with marching, with shows and the beating of the bounds in this epic film from 1955.

Amateur film 1954 92 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


This ambitious film, a year in the making, records the centenary of the military presence in Aldershot. Starting with empty heathland we soon enter the town. We see celebratory marches and processions, mayoral balls and get-togethers with a carnival thrown in for good measure. We also see a number of personalities including Cyril Fletcher, Arthur English and RSM Ronald Brittain - as well as one of the most energetic 'beating-the-bounds' ceremonies to be captured on film.

Regimental Sergeant Major Ronald Brittain, seen in this film on his retirement from the Mons Officer Cadet School, was reputed to have the loudest voice in the British Army and, while attached to the training staff at Sandhurst Military Academy, could reduce the gentlemen cadets to nervous wrecks with his parade ground bellow. After his retirement, Brittain worked for a time as a salesman at an outsize clothing outfitters before appearing in a number of films, plays and advertisements. He was also much in demand at public functions as a toastmaster and belonged to the Society of Toastmasters.