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Title:NEW ZEALAND FIELD ARTILLERY IN ACTION, NEW YEAR'S DAY 1918 [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 160
Other titles:VISIT TO THE NEW ZEALAND INFANTRY BASE DEPOT AT ETAPLES (extracts) [Alternative Title]
Summary: Jumble of shots from two separate films showing scenes of the New Zealand Infantry and General Training Base Depot at Etaples in France and a New Zealand howitzer battery in the Ypres salient during the winter of 1917-1918.
Description: The first scene is double-exposed and shows cookhouse fatigues and a squad of soldiers marching at the New Zealand Depot at Etaples. A 4.5-inch howitzer of a forward New Zealand battery on the Menin Road near Westhoek in the Ypres Salient is shown to cease firing, and then the gun crew covers it with white camouflage tarpaulin and a scrim net. The gunners open tinned Christmas cakes and puddings, and pass around cigarettes. The scene shists back to Etaples and the New Zealand Commandant, Lieutenant-Colonel G 'Hoppy' Mitchell, inspecting a reinforcement draft in full kit. The men shoulder arms and march off to entrain for the front. A bugler sounds a bugle call with the NZ Depot accommodation tents and cookhouse as background, and a flag is raised, the film cutting halfway through the ceremony. A reinforcement parade at the Depot and soldiers practising Swedish drill.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 459 ft; Running time: 8 mins
Notes: Title: this is taken from the shotsheet.
Intertitles: scratched on negative.
Production: this film is actually a jumble of scenes from two films, NEW ZEALAND FIELD ARTILLERY IN ACTION, NEW YEAR'S DAY 1918 and VISIT TO THE NEW ZEALAND INGFANTRY BASE DEPOT AT ETAPLES, both filmed by the NZ official cinematographer Captain Henry A Sanders in late 1917 and early 1918. Similar Christmas shots filmed at the same time were used in THE NEW ZEALAND FIELD ARTILLERY IN FRANCE (held as IWM 166). The lack of intertitling and the mis-editing of this and other New Zealand films suggests that the NZ film in the IWM archive has survived from negatives deposited with the WOCC, rather than from the collection of edited and titled films sent to the IWM from New Zealand in the post-war film exchange. This may also explain why none of Scales's film of the New Zealanders in the United Kingdom (see Notes to IWM 157) forms part of the IWM collection.
Authority: additional detail from Christopher Pugsley, 12/1993.
Remarks: the 'Christmas' scene is a superior example of the genre.