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Title:WAR OFFICE OFFICIAL TOPICAL BUDGET 330-2 [Main Title]
Film Number:NTB 330-2
Summary: I. Work of the Army Postal Service.
II. French troops reinforce the Italians.
III. US troops move a wooden YMCA hut to a new site.
IV. Cross-Channel ferries carry British troops home for Christmas.
Description: I. 'XMAS PARCELS FOR TOMMY. The boys at the front are not forgotten during Yuletide, every endeavour is made to enable Tommy to receive his parcel without delay.' MS of Royal Engineer holding a chit, which another soldier examines. Men sort mail bags and load them onto horse-drawn wagons. CU of parcels - one is addressed to the CO of 1/3 Seaforth Highlanders, Salonika, another to the Coldstream Guards in France. A convoy of lorries leaves the depot.
II. 'THE ALLIES IN ITALY. By every route the French and British troops are hastening to Italy's aid in her hour of need.' Heavily laden French troops and their supply column cross a bridge to enter a walled Italian city.
III. 'LIGHTNING AMERICAN METHODS. This popular YMCA hut was too far away to suit the Sammies, so they promptly carried it half a mile nearer Camp.' US soldiers leave their camp - they are unarmed and some are still in civilian dress or wearing uniform with a civilian cap. After marching through open country they come to a large (and apparently newly constructed) timber frame hall painted with a YMCA symbol. Long poles are set around the floor of the hall, and taking hold of these the soldiers lift the entire building and walk off to the new site. The hut is set down in its new location. Men cheer and wave their caps for the camera - in the background others wave from the roof of the hall.
IV. 'CHRISTMAS LEAVE BOATS. These boys are on the way home for a Merry Christmas. Here's to them!' Men with rifles and full kit are directed down companionway on ferry. HA to soldiers milling about on deck - they have all been issued with regulation lifejacket. The ferry is very crowded. 'UNDER WAY FOR BLIGHTY. Many a heart will be made happy by their presence.' LS as crowded ferry makes away from quayside - a single-funnel paddle-steamer, it bears the transport number G.08. A second ship leaves the harbour, waved off by some WAACs - one of them blows a kiss to departing soldier(s).
Production Details: War Office (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army (regiment/service)
British Army, Army Postal Service (regiment/service)
British Army, Royal Engineers (regiment/service)
French Army (regiment/service)
United States Army (regiment/service)
Young Men's Christian Association (regiment/service)
Keywords: communications, British military - postal (object name)
operations, French military - movement: road (object name)
buildings, United States - military: portable YMCA hut (object name)
ships, British civilian - ferry: cross-Channel (object name)
ships, British auxiliary - transport: cross-Channel (object name)
recreation, British military - leave (object name)
Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: English
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 314 ft; Running time: 3 mins
Notes: Summary (item III): as the hall is obviously new, unglazed, and internally braced for the move, the title - not for the first time - is rather fanciful