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Title:S AFRICAN NATIVE LABOUR CONTINGENT : somewhere in France [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 413
Other titles:SOUTH AFRICAN NATIVE LABOUR CONTINGENT : somewhere in France [Alternative Title]
Summary: Work of the South African Labour Contingent in France, 1917.
Description: The film opens with Number 1 Camp of the contingent by a wood, and a posed group of the black NCOs with their white officers. The NCOs are all "native chiefs". Members of the contingent unload boxes of supplies at a dump from railway wagons, while others use picks and shovels to dig road mending material. The main part of the film concerns the contingent at work in a forest cutting down trees and transporting the logs by means of light rail sledges drawn by horses. The logs are cut to a manageable size by a belt-driven rotary saw. At lunchtime the men relax around a fire, one performs a dance for the camera, and there is a free-for-all, before they return to work. At the main timber yard members of the contingent unload logs from a goods train. The men march back to their camp. One of the sergeants (seen only briefly) is a "Prince in his own country", probably Muti, son of Ntshingwayo, of the Zunga tribe of Zululand.
Production Details: War Office Cinema Committee (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Muti, Prince of Zululand (person)
British Army, South African Labour Contingent (regiment/service)
South African Army, South African Labour Contingent (regiment/service)
Keywords: supplies, British, storage [RA] - misc (object name)
agriculture, South African - arable (object name)
recreation, South African military - casual (object name)
society, South African military - ethnic (object name)
society, South African military - sustenance (object name)
race & [+] (concept)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: English
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 907 ft; Running time: 17 mins
Notes: Title: the alternative title is from an undated WOCC programme (a copy of which is held by the Film and Video Archive) for several films including one with this (main) title.
Summary: see also IWM 128.
Remarks: an interesting variation on the 'personalised' approach to the war which marked the new policy of British official film in autumn 1917 and produced the BRITISH REGIMENTS series.