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Title:WITH BRITAIN'S MONSTER GUNS IN ACTION [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 218
Other titles:OFFICIAL PICTURES OF THE BRITISH ARMY IN FRANCE - SIXTH SERIES [Series Title]
Summary: Compilation film of heavy British guns on the Western Front, 1916-1918.
Description: Two aircrew with their backs to the camera walk towards their BE2 aircraft before an artillery spotting mission - jump cut to the plane flying. A 12-inch Mk I railway howitzer of 89th Siege Battery RGA (?) at Dickebusch in June 1916 being elevated and loaded. In the aircraft's cockpit "8,000 feet up" (fake) the observer sends morse messages to a receiver on the ground, relayed by field telephone to the gun, which opens fire (possibly a blank - the wadding can be seen leaving the barrel). The whole sequence is repeated correcting for range, including a view down from the observer's position showing trench lines, and repeated again. A second battery, of 12-inch Mk II siege howitzers, also fires, is loaded, fired again, and some maintenance work is done on one gun. The BE2 returns home (the aircraft actually shown landing is an RE7 with a Beardmore engine). A line of shells is loaded into another 12-inch railway gun under a camouflage awning. II. King George V's visit to the 14-inch railway gun 'HMG Boche Buster' of 471st Siege Battery RGA at Brayon on 8 August 1918. With him is the GOC First Army, General Horne. The hawk-nosed man behind George V is the battery commander, Major S Montagu Cleeve.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
British Topical Committee for War Films (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: George V, King (person)
Horne, Henry Sinclair (person)
Montagu Cleve, Stewart (person)
Royal Air Force, Royal Flying Corps (regiment/service)
British Army, Royal Artillery, RGA & Siege Bty 89 (regiment/service)
British Army, Royal Artillery, RGA & Siege Bty 471 (regiment/service)
Keywords: aircraft, British - combat: Royal Aircraft Establishment BE2 (object name)
aircraft, British - combat: Royal Aircraft Establishment RE7 (object name)
weapons, British - gun: 12-inch Mark I howitzer (railway mounted) (object name)
weapons, British - gun: 14-inch howitzer (railway mounted) (object name)
operations, British air - sortie (object name)
operations, British air - return (object name)
combat, British - artillery bombardment (object name)
communications, British air - electronic: morse (object name)
communications, British military - wire (object name)
delegations, British national - state (object name)
Brayon, Somme, France (geography)
Dikkebus, West Flanders, Belgium (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: 877 ft; Running time: 15 mins
Notes: Production: a film with this title was released on 17 July 1916 as part of the sixth War Office series of OFFICIAL FILMS. This version has the appearance of being a re-edited re-release including material up to the end of the war. The additional material is probably marked by the various changes in caption style throughout the film.
Title: the BTCFWF publicity for this film adds the subtitle "Their fire is directed by wireless from aeroplanes".
Major (later Colonel) Cleeve identified himself in 1980 after viewing film, and stills from film. (See Acq file C3)