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Title:THE NEW ZEALAND FIELD ARTILLERY IN FRANCE [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 166
Other titles:NEW ZEALAND RIFLE BRIGADE ON THE MARCH (extracts) [Alternative Title]
Summary: Jumble of scenes from two films showing the New Zealand Field Artillery and the New Zealand Rifle Brigade on the Western Front in 1917 and early 1918.
Description: The opening scenes show New Zealand Field Artillery horses being watered at a river and fed at horse lines. This is followed by a scene of a gunner officer emerging from a sandbagged command post and directing fire using a megaphone. An 18-pounder fires (viewed from the rear with a detailed close-up of the aiming and firing mechanism). A Forward Observation Officer directs fire through his signaller using a field telephone. A soldier emerges from his dugout and fires a rifle grenade (the recoil knocks his shrapnel helmet off). This is followed by two long sequences of two different battalions marching. One wearing shrapnel helmets marches through a village. The second is the New Zealand Rifle Brigade marching along a country road. A brief scene of gunners riding their horses bareback. The route marche continues. A scene of gunners being issued Christmas parcels by the Battery Quartermaster Sergeant. The film ends with an extended sequence of two 18-pounders in the snow firing at the intense rate.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 670 ft; Running time: 12 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, THE NEW ZEALAND FIELD ARTILLERY IN FRANCE and NEW ZEALAND RIFLE BRIGADE ON THE MARCH, both filmed by the NZ official cinematographer Captain Henry A Sanders (cf. IWM 160).
Remarks: the 18-pounder firing sequence is particularly fine, but the starring role is given to the horses (watch for the bugler being nudged by his horse). New Zealand sent 10,117 horses overseas during the war, 2,655 for the New Zealand Field Artillery. Because of quarantine regulations, only three horses are known to have returned.
Authority: additional detail from Christopher Pugsley, 12/1993.