Catalogue number
  • IWM 508-24
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Place made
Subject period
  • whole: Number Of Items/reels/tapes 1

© IWM (IWM 508-24)

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Object description

I. French newsreel item on their counter-offensive at Verdun, Western Front, August 1917.

Object description

II. French newsreel item of Marshal Joffre accepting the American "Golden Book" from General Pershing, France, August 1917.

Object description

III. French newsreel item on Field Marshal Haig inspecting French troops who took part on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres. Western Front, August 1917.

Physical description


Full description

The "Deuxième Bataille Offensive de Verdun" opens with a bombardment. A 145mm naval gun firing under tarpaulin, showing its loading mechanism clearly. Other guns join in - a 155mm heavy howitzer, a 75mm field gun and a 155mm gun. Troops of 126th Division cross the Canal d'Est (probably) near the Côte de Talou by a footbridge and move on through the wooded distance (possibly the Bois France Boche near Vacherauville) to take up their positions in the Saint Marion trench prior to the attack. The 155mm howitzers continue to bombard no man's land. Soldiers of 31st Division, who captured Mort-Homme, inspect the entrance to the tunnel used by the Crown Prince as his headquarters. Three men fire a Maxim machine gun (captured ?) out over the plain below the position, where firing still continues. At Côte 304, north of Esnes, men of 26th Division lead their prisoners back off the hill and into the trenches. Staff of 24th Infantry Regiment lead a large number of prisoners in wide marching column along the road to Rampont. The prisoners are described as having been captured in the Bois de Corbeaux - presumably by men of XVI Corps. Another group of prisoners leaves the Bois Bourru in the same corps area, probably on the road to Fromeréville. At the first collection point wounded prisoners are given blankets and after being processed by an official are let into ambulances. The captions at this point claim that the Germans have deliberately shelled and bombed clearly-marked hospitals in the Verdun area, at Dugny, Les Monthairons, Vadelaincourt and Belrupt, but no damage is shown. At Les Monthairons a bedridden soldier, with a nurse in attendance, is awarded the Médaille Militaire.

Full description

The ceremony of presenting the book takes place at the American headquarters. Joffre accepts the book from Pershing. It is to be taken by a French mission about to leave for the United States. Two staff officers, one American and one French, hold up the heavy book for the camera.

Full description

Haig is escorted round the troops (who are drawn up on parade) by General Antoine, commanding the First Army. The troops are from 1st Division and 51st Division, and from the French Marines (wearing naval caps instead of helmets). Haig talks to, and shakes hands with, some of the officers before going on to present decorations. Haig watches as the troops march past.

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