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Title:A KITE BALLOON AND THE BELLE OF ARQUES [Allocated Title]
Film Number:IWM 164
Summary: I. A British observation kite balloon on the Western Front in the second half of the First World War.
II. The "Belle of Arques", a young lady operating a swing bridge at Arques, Western Front, 1916-1918.
Description: An RFC kite balloon in the air. It appears to be attacked by an aeroplane, the balloon's observer parachutes to earth while the balloon itself bursts into flames and collapses. Further scenes of the balloon being inflated by a gas generator, rising and descending safely, the observer getting out and the balloon being secured. The headphone cable link between the observer and the ground is tested before the balloon is raised. The item ends with further scenes of the aeroplane attack on the balloon and the balloon in the air.
The young lady, a refugee from Arras, operates by hand a swing bridge across a canal in the centre of Arques. A British Red Cross barge A 108 passes under the bridge when it is raised and British lorries drive over it when it is lowered.