This film is part of Free

Soldiers Working and Firing a Field Gun

Sailors from HMS 'Excellent' operate a 9-pounder muzzle loading field gun

Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins


This film is part of a series called Life In Our Navy made by Alfred West and seen (according to West) by over 2 million people during its run on Regent Street. It shows sailors from HMS Excellent doing a speedy drill with a 9-pounder muzzle loading field gun. The gun may have been obsolete at the time this film was made, but that's clearly not the point of the drill - or the film.

Speed is of the essence for the sailors, and the filmmaker was particularly excited about what he captured, noting in the catalogue that "the gun is fired direct at the camera, and the sailors seen working amidst the smoke of the discharge". But does it give Edwin S. Porter's famous final shot of The Great Train Robbery a run for its money?