This film is part of Free

Infantry at Pretoria (c.1900)

First-hand footage of troops on parade in Boer War era Pretoria.

Non-Fiction 1900 3 mins Silent


Mitchell and Kenyon filmed numerous military parades, returning troops and fictional accounts of the conflict in South Africa. But this footage remains an anomaly. We know that M&K didn't travel to Pretoria (and these grainy pictures, shot from a distance, bear none of their stylistic hallmarks). Did they buy the footage, hoping to profit from audiences eager for news from the front?

The chance of seeing troops abroad was an irresistible lure for British audiences, hungry for patriotic entertainment. The commercially-minded Mitchell and Kenyon probably purchased this footage from the Warwick Trading Company, which in 1901 boasted a catalogue of films shot in South Africa, including one of infantry parading by the Dutch Church in Pretoria's Church Square, which might well be this one.