Catalogue number
  • IWM 218
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Subject period
  • whole: Number Of Items/reels/tapes 1

© IWM (IWM 218)

License Film
Object description

Compilation film of heavy British guns on the Western Front, 1916-1918.

Physical description


Full description

Two aircrew with their backs to the camera walk towards their BE2 aircraft before an artillery spotting mission - jump cut to the plane flying. A 12-inch Mk I railway howitzer of 89th Siege Battery RGA (?) at Dickebusch in June 1916 being elevated and loaded. In the aircraft's cockpit "8,000 feet up" (fake) the observer sends morse messages to a receiver on the ground, relayed by field telephone to the gun, which opens fire (possibly a blank - the wadding can be seen leaving the barrel). The whole sequence is repeated correcting for range, including a view down from the observer's position showing trench lines, and repeated again. A second battery, of 12-inch Mk II siege howitzers, also fires, is loaded, fired again, and some maintenance work is done on one gun. The BE2 returns home (the aircraft actually shown landing is an RE7 with a Beardmore engine). A line of shells is loaded into another 12-inch railway gun under a camouflage awning. II. King George V's visit to the 14-inch railway gun 'HMG Boche Buster' of 471st Siege Battery RGA at Brayon on 8 August 1918. With him is the GOC First Army, General Horne. The hawk-nosed man behind George V is the battery commander, Major S Montagu Cleeve.

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