This film is part of Free

Scenes of the Delhi Camp

A look at the 1911 Delhi Durbar - with a look back at its 1902 predecessor

Non-Fiction 1911 3 mins Silent


This edition of the Gaumont Graphic newsreel opens with a few shots of the encampment at the site of the 1911 Delhi Durbar, celebrating the coronation of King George V as Emperor of India. To spice up these - frankly rather anti-climactic - images, Gaumont's editors then give us a look back at the spectacle of the previous Durbar of 1902-3 (the Gaumont Graphic item was put together before the equivalent 1911 scenes had taken place).

The 1902 footage was also taken by Gaumont and can also be seen separately (ironically in less crisp image quality) on BFI Player. Such topical filmmaking was a precursor of newsreel proper, crystallising in 1910, the year both Pathe and Gaumont started issuing their regular branded series. The 1911 editors' plundering of 1902 material is an early example of what remains a widespread practice, to this day, of factual film and TV: producers exploiting their back-catalogues to insert historical 'stock' footage into newer productions.