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Summary: Training of messenger dogs for the British Army, probably at XXII Corps headquarters kennels in Nieppe Wood, Western Front, 19 May 1918.
Description: I. The dogs, a mixture of terrier mongrels, are paraded with their handlers and taken for walking exercises. They are given a course to run over unescorted which includes fences and barbed wire to jump, and running past soldiers who fire rifles over the dogs' heads. At an Artillery repair workshop the dogs are made accustomed to the noise of guns by standing beside an 18-pounder field gun as it fires. To demonstrate the use of the dogs one handler writes a message and fits it into a tube on his dog's collar, the dog runs over a number of obstacles to arrive with the message at the collection point. At the kennels the dogs are held and fed by their handlers. More demonstrations of the dogs' ability to jump obstacles, including a small stream. One dog at the kennels has its paws bandaged after being burnt by mustard gas. The exercises continue, with one dog, encouraged by its handler, swimming a stream too wide to jump. II. To the end of this film has been attached an unrelated scene of an SE5 coming in to land at an aerodrome.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Bassill, F A (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Corps 22 (regiment/service)
Keywords: animals, mammals: dog (object name)
weapons, British - gun: 18-pounder field gun (object name)
communications, British military - message: dog (object name)
aircraft, British - combat: Royal Aircraft Establishment SE5 (object name)
Nieppe Forest, Nord, France (geography)