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Title:WITH THE PORTUGUESE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE IN FRANCE [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 411
Summary: British film of the Portuguese Corps in training and in the line on the Western Front, 1917.
Description: (Reel 1) General Sir Henry Horne, GOC First Army, is greeted by the GOC of the Portuguese Corps, General Tamagnini, and inspects a guard of honour which afterwards marches past. A Portuguese battalion, with all its transport, is on the march down a dirt road. A battery equipped with French-made 75mm field guns practises firing and moving off. Miners are shown entering a mineshaft. At the training school at Marthes in June 1917 the troops learn to dig trenches, revet them using wicker and build a parapet of sandbags. The men then enter this 'model' trench, line the parapet, fix bayonets, and withdraw. One man of the Portuguese 15th Battalion displays his uniform and equipment. There is more training in putting up entanglements, bayonet fighting, bayonet charges over an obstacle course, grenade throwing, and a demonstration by an NCO of how to fire a rack of rifle grenades. A group of officers poses for the camera. The men practise setting up and firing the Stokes 6-inch mortar, and 50-pound 'plum pudding' bomb from the 2-inch mortar (described as a "French mortar"). British officers and NCOs of the school pose with Portuguese officers. The instructors give lessons in map reading and in rifle shooting, including the use of the telescopic sight. (Reel 2) Portuguese at the front, probably 2nd Division on 21 May 1917, enter firebays, have food served to them from backpacks, etc. Some of them are from 22nd Battalion. The battalion commander drinks tea in the front line with British officers. A Portuguese 75mm gun fires from inside a gun pit. Another 75mm is manhandled forward, possibly in an exercise. General Gomes de Costa, commanding 2nd Division, talks to a British general. A battery of 75mm guns opens fire by a stream. A view of shell-bursts taken from a front line trench. Portuguese mule wagon teams move up, take stores from a dump and move off again.
Production Details: War Office Cinema Committee (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Horne, Henry Sinclair (person)
Tamagnini de Abreu e Silva, Fernando (person)
Gomes da Costa, Manuel de Oliviera (person)
British Army (regiment/service)
Portuguese Army & Bn 15 (regiment/service)
Portuguese Army & Div 2 & Bn 22 (regiment/service)
Keywords: delegations, British international - military (object name)
operations, Portuguese military - movement: march (object name)
weapons, French - gun: 75mm field gun & [Portuguese] (object name)
training, Portuguese military (object name)
weapons, British - mortar: 2-inch plum pudding (object name)
weapons, British - mortar: 6-inch (object name)
society, British military - friendship (object name)
society, Portuguese military - friendship (object name)
weapons, British - smallarm: SMLE rifle (object name)
equipment, British military - fire control: telescopic sight (object name)
society, Portuguese military - sustenance (object name)
combat, Portuguese - artillery bombardment (object name)
combat, Portuguese - artillery bombardment [D] (object name)
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: 2
Footage: 1948 ft; Running time: 33 mins
Notes: Summary: Reel 2, the front-line section at the start of reel 2 was filmed under the "stage management" of Lieutenant R C G Dartford (1/19th London Regiment), liaison officer to the Portuguese, who gives a description of the event in his unpublished diary which exactly matches the surviving film
Summary: Reel 1, the telescopic sight used is identified as a Winchester A5.
Summary: Reel 2, good sustained views of shell-bursts, filmed from a fixed position at a distance of approximately one mile.