- Title: SONS OF OUR EMPIRE EPISODE 4 : Preparations for the Great Offensive [Main Title]
- Film Number: IWM 130-07+8
- Other titles: PREPARATIONS FOR THE GREAT OFFENSIVE [Alternative Title]
- Summary: Preparations in the Somme offensive leading to the Canadian capture of Courcelette, Western Front, autumn 1916.
- Description: I. (Reel 7) Preparations for the battle. 8-inch and 6-inch howitzers fire a bombardment. Mark I tanks, males and females, move forwards. 13-pounder anti-aircraft guns provide air defence. A motor machine gun section moves in its cycle combinations out of camp. British Cavalry trot forwards. Men of the Leicestershire Regiment and Northumberland Fusiliers move through the rear of the battle zone. The bombardment by 8-inch howitzers and 18-pounders continues. Mules bring water to the gun positions. Men of the Norfolk Regiment at rest. Indian lancers of 4th or 5th Cavalry Division also resting. 13-pounders RHA trotting along a road. A Mk I Male tank on the move. 1/14th Battalion, the London Regiment (London Scottish), 56th Division, on the march. Grenades are handed out in the front trenches. Men of the Guards Division attend an open air church parade. "Who dies if England lives ? Who lives if England dies ?" II. (Reel 8) The moment of the attack. The heavy bombardment by various guns and howitzers continues. A Mark I male tank in position. "The day...the hour...three minutes more then...the minute, and for God, King and Empire the Canadians swept forward." The Canadian troops go over the top. Vickers machine guns give covering fire. Distant views across no man's land, including a German surrender. A Mark I male tank damaged, with part of its steering wheels missing. 56th Division rear areas, with wiring parties going forward. An officer controlling an 18-pounder battery's fire with a megaphone. More views of no man's land. A heliograph team signals to the guns. The 18-pounders continue to fire and ammunition is brought up to them.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1914-1918
- Production Date: 1917
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: War Office Cinema Committee (Production sponsor) Topical Film Company (Production company) Jury, William F (Production individual) Raymond, H C (Production individual) McDowell, J B (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Div, Guards (regiment/service) British Army, Div 56 (regiment/service) British Army, Machine Gun Corps, Heavy Branch (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Tank Corps (regiment/service) British Army, Machine Gun Corps, Motorised (regiment/service) British Army, cavalry (regiment/service) Indian Army, lancers (regiment/service) British Army, Leicestershire Regiment (regiment/service) British Army, Northumberland Fusiliers (regiment/service) British Army, London Regiment, Bn 1/14 (regiment/service) Canadian Army, Canadian Expeditionary Force (regiment/service)
- Keywords: armour, British - tank: Tank Mark I Male & [damaged] (object name) armour, British - tank: Tank Mark I Female (object name) weapons, British - gun: 18-pounder field gun (object name) weapons, British - gun: 13-pounder field gun (object name) weapons, British - gun [AA]: 13-pounder (object name) weapons, British - gun: 6-inch 26cwt howitzer (object name) weapons, British - gun: 8-inch howitzer (object name) weapons, British - smallarm (mounted): Vickers machine gun (motorised) (object name) transport, British military - 2/3 wheel: motorcycle combination (object name) communications, British military - direct: megaphone (object name) communications, British military - direct: heliograph (object name) animals, mammals: mule (object name) prisoners of war, German - surrender (object name) supplies, British, movement [FA] - food (object name) supplies, British, movement [FA] - munitions (object name) society, British military - sustenance (object name) operations, British military - movement (object name) combat, Canadian - trench raid (object name) communications, British military - direct (object name) combat, British - artillery bombardment (object name) religion, Christianity - military, British (object name) propaganda, British - inspirational (object name) 01/3(4-15).57 (event) Courcelette, Somme, France (geography) no man's land (concept)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent Soundtrack language: None Title language: None Subtitle language: English
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 2 Footage: 1764 ft; Running time: 21 mins
- Notes: Remarks: a good illustration of the technical problems of filming across no man's land which led to the virtual abandonment of any attempt to portray major battles other than in very personal terms. A promising opening leads to an exciting attack sequence, and then the film falls apart in incoherence.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
IWM 123 (WESTERN FRONT (rough material) [Allocated Title]) IWM 233 (LA GUERRE ANGLAISE : grand film documentaire en 4 parts - les tanks anglais a la bataille de la Scarpe [Main Title]) IWM 349 (GERMAN PRISONERS - SCENES AT LA BOZELLE (sic) [Main Title])