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Title:BAALBEC AND BEIRUT/TRIPOLI MATERIAL [Allocated Title]
Film Number:IWM 39
Summary: Somewhat muddled footage principally showing the ruins at Baalbec, and the arrival of British troops in a middle-eastern town, presumably also in Palestine, 1918.
Description: Views of the ruins of Baalbec, with occasional glimpses of a visiting British officer and enthusiastic local guides who make great efforts to excite his (and the camera's) interest in a lion's head carving. A panorama of a valley, showing some terrace farming and groves of trees, then another panorama from a mountain over the lowlands to the sea shore. A British officer and two (Indian ?) troops pose by a coastal defence gun; watched by some local children, they traverse and elevate the barrel. A military column led by a mounted officer moves through a small town street watched by a crowd of onlookers, many in fezes; this is followed by several more units in an informal parade with fewer onlookers past a mounted officer. The troops include both Indian troops and Highlanders, the latter led by pipers. Views of a city square, then more shots of the ruins, and more of the marchpast. Panning view over a city waterfront with some sunken ships. High angle shot of activity around a bandstand in a wooded park, panning right to street with tramlines. A final return to the city square.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Indian Army, Egyptian Expeditionary Force (regiment/service)
Indian Army, 7th (Meerut) Division (regiment/service)
British Army, Egyptian Expeditionary Force (regiment/service)
British Army, Black Watch, 2nd Battalion (regiment/service)
British Army, Seaforth Highlanders, 1st Battalion (regiment/service)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 927 ft; Running time: 16 mins
Notes: Summary: in the absence of any clues (even from the shotsheet) the interpretation of this film remains very conjectural. Assuming the material does all belong together - not necessarily a safe assumption in this part of the collection - the undoubted identification of Baalbec suggests a location in what is now Lebanon, and thus a date at the end of the Palestine campaign. This in turn suggests that the coastal scenes could be in or around Beirut, and the parade of troops be in Beirut or Tripoli. The composition of the parade does not conflict with such a theory - the only Highlanders in the EEF were the Black Watch and Seaforth Battalions in 7th (Meerut) Division, which did finish the campaign in this area.