This film is part of Free

Tommy Atkins in the Park

A soldier takes boisterous revenge when an unwelcome stranger interrupts his romantic moment

Comedy 1898 1 mins Silent


In this brief comedy a soldier and a nursemaid take a minute out of their day to go courting. With the baby safely stowed in its pram, they think their privacy is assured, but along comes a redoubtable Victorian matron to share their bench. Tommy the soldier chooses to fight back rather than put an end to his fun. After all, if he's on leave, he hasn't a moment to waste - and his ladyfriend will be wanted back at work soon.

Tommy Atkins', often shortened to 'Tommy', had long been slang for a rank-and-file soldier, but the name would became especially popular in the First World War. This comedy film was made by Robert W Paul, one of Britain's earliest filmmakers. He was a successful instrument-maker by trade and became the co-inventor of the country's first moving-picture camera in 1896. He built a studio in London's Muswell Hill in 1898 and continued to make films there until around 1910, when he turned his focus back to instruments and military technology.