This film is part of Free

London under Snow

WWI recruits apply their training - to a friendly snowball fight

Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent


Incoming artillery! February 1916 saw snowstorms across Britain - the perfect opportunity for these recruits to the Inns of Court Officers' Training Corps to let off steam. The battle is spirited but the missiles are harmless, especially in comparison with the ones the soldiers would have faced on the Front. Nicknamed 'The Devil's Own', the Inns of Court OTC had, as the name suggests, a long-standing link with the legal profession. This particular snowy dispute, though, was settled outside the courtroom!

Conscription was introduced in January 1916 - just a month before this newsreel was recorded - for all single men between 18 and 41, and continued until 1919. We can't be sure whether these chipper young men joined up willingly, but the film gives us an enticing glimpse of life in training for the new soldier. The sense of camaraderie among the officer cadets is palpable, even with nothing more than a few snowballs and the pride of their teammates at stake.