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Summary: I. French newsreel item on the inspection of the Polish Legion at their camp by General Archinard, Western Front, October 1917.
II. French newsreel item on the funeral of General Baratier, killed in action. France, October 1917.
III. French newsreel item showing First Army area during the Third Battle of Ypres ('Passchendaele'), Western Front, October 1917.
Description: The general meets the Polish officers. He joins in a mass with the Legion, inspects the soldiers, talks to a few of them and presents decorations to members of the Legion who still survive from Bayonne in 1914. The Legion is then presented with a new standard made by the local women. The Legion marches past, and the new standard is displayed in close-up.
The general's coffin, draped in a Tricolour, is taken out of a military ambulance. The funeral procession, mainly French civilian and military personnel with some British soldiers, and the general's widow, files into the church. After the service the procession files out again and the coffin is taken on a gun carriage to the cemetery. (The film is nearly all in long shot, making identification difficult, but General Gouraud appears to be present.)
The battlefield is barren except for a few crosses. One man stands at the bottom of a shellhole, showing its depth. Two others explore a captured pillbox, while more soldiers rest in the shade of the concrete. One fatigue party with spades shores up a newly-taken position, while other parties work on improving the defences. Earth from a tunnelling operation is brought up to the surface. A supply column of wagons passes over a temporary bridge towards the fighting area. The ground is noticeably dry, almost dusty.
Production Details: Section Cinématographique de l'Armée Française (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Archinard, Louis (person)
Gouraud, Henri Joseph Eugène (person)
Baratier (Madame) (person)
Baratier, Augustin (person)
French Army, Polish Legion (regiment/service)
Polish Army, Polish Legion (regiment/service)
French Army (regiment/service)
French Army (regiment/service)
Keywords: delegations, French national - military (object name)
delegations, French international - military (object name)
religion, Christianity - military, Polish (object name)
ceremonies, French - event-related: investiture (object name)
ceremonies, Polish - event-related: investiture (object name)
ceremonies, French - event-related: funeral (General Baratier) (object name)
buildings, French - religious: church (object name)
religion, Christianity - ceremonial, French (object name)
casualties, French graves - battlefield (object name)
defences, German - emplacement: pillbox & [captured] (object name)
engineering, military, French (object name)
Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: None
Subtitle language: French
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 533 ft; Running time: 10 mins
Notes: Title: this is taken from the shotsheet
Subtitles: these are all flashframes
Production etc: see Notes to IWM 508-10
Technical: issue IWM 508-32 is now held with issue IWM 508-31 on a single reel 1033 feet long
Remarks: in view of the virtual absence of British film of the Third Battle of Ypres in its middle stages this is a very useful record. It is in particular a corrective to the common myth that the battle was fought throughout in mud