This film is part of Free

World War One Troops Inspection

Brigades of stretcher-bearers and Cyclist Corps soldiers straighten their spines for parade. But who? And where?

Non-Fiction 1915 1 mins


These fleeting snaps of brigades of stretcher-bearers and cyclists on parade are probably the surviving fragments of a World War I newsreel story. Untitled and incomplete, the film doesn’t give many clues as to who these soldiers are. But could the distinctive-looking building whose chimney pokes high above its roof in the background of the last shot be the gatehouse on New Fetter Lane, Holborn?

Scenes of military drill and training were far more common in the newsreels than any battlefield footage - and not by accident: portraits of this kind of safe soldiering would have been very much in keeping with the government’s propagandist visions of the fighting Tommy.