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Summary: A gymnastics display by British soldiers at No 13 Convalescent Depot, Sainte Marie, near Trouville, France, 15th August 1918.
Description: The crowd watching is mainly civilian, men and women in summer clothes. Out in the oval enclosure soldiers in athletics shorts and vests perform exercise routines with Indian clubs and rifles, after which they march off. The crowd includes a group of schoolgirls in uniform. The display continues with a tug of war and mop jousting, ending in a final close-up of the - very dirty - winning pair. A demonstration of Highland dancing. Sailors prepare for a sprint. As the winner breaks the tape at the finish he raises his arms in triumph. Children watch three clowns and a comic 'nigger minstrel' perform acrobatics. The display teams in the enclosure perform simple physical exercises of the 'Swedish Drill' type. They make human pyramids, then form up and lie down in the shape of the giant letters GRV (Georgius Rex Vth), followed by the letters ST MARIE. One of the ladies watching presents prizes for the sports.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Buckstone, Walter A (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Royal Army Medical Corps, Convalescent Depot 13 (regiment/service)
Keywords: recreation, British military - sport: gymnastics (object name)
recreation, British military - casual: Highland fling (object name)
medical, British military - long term (object name)
Trouville, Seine-Maritime, France (geography)
Sainte-Marie-Cappel, Nord, France (geography)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 422 ft; Running time: 8 mins
Notes: Title: this is taken from the shotsheet
Summary: senior officers tended to 'hijack' official cameramen to record sports and similar events, and this film is a good example. Taken at the orders of GHQ France, it led the MoI to complain of its cameramen's time being wasted, and was, according to the complaint in the Aitken file, "an entire waste of time, money and material, as far as this Ministry is concerned"