This film is part of Free

Belgian Congo Native Troops

World War One reportage from intrepid filmmaker Cherry Kearton - glimpsed in an early 'selfie'.

Non-Fiction 1915 1 mins Silent


An intriguing despatch from a colonial corner of the Great War, into which Europe’s overseas possessions were inevitably drawn. This footage of square-bashing in the notoriously harshly-ruled Belgian Congo was taken by the film company of Cherry Kearton, one of the great characters of British silent cinema. Not entirely averse to self-promotion, he obliges us here with a 'selfie', 1915-style.

Best remembered as an intrepid explorer and natural history photographer and filmmaker, the pith-helmeted Kearton also had fingers in several other pies. Over the course of WWI he turned out a number of on-the-ground war film reports shot in numerous countries involved in the conflict.