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Title:BRIDGE OPENING AT KLANG BY SIR EDWARD GENT [Allocated Title]
Film Number:JFU 652
Other titles:BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: At Klang, in Selangor, Malaya, the Governor of Malaya Sir Edward Gent opens a new railway bridge, built by interned Japanese troops and the Royal Engineers.
Description: Japanese engineers using a drill. A Japanese engineer uses a welding torch. Another Japanese engineer using a welding torch; he turns and appears to smile at the camera. Various Japanese troops at work. Using a pneumatic riveter. Sergeant McGrath, Royal Engineers (of Glasgow) discusses progress with the Japanese senior officer (a lieutenant-colonel) over blueprints. Wide shots of the bridge showing the working party. Japanese troops digging earth with hoes and carrying it away in baskets. The Governor of Malaya, Sir Edward Gent, steps down from a train and is greeted. He is introduced to Company Sergeant Major D Borland (of Motherwell, Scotland) and Sapper S Glenn of Darlington, County Durham, and meets other troops. Tape-cutting ceremony; Gent makes a speech with a number of troops (presumably Royal Engineers) on parade as the Sultan of Selangor, Alam Shah, looks on. Tape is cut. Party walking along the line across the bridge. A specially-scheduled train approaches.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 255 ft; Running time: 3 mins
Notes: A well shot film with a good narrative and obvious propaganda value, showing the reconstruction of Malaya's infrastructure, and the use of defeated Japanese manpower.
The cameraman's dopesheet states that the Royal Engineers were attached to the Malayan Railway Supervisory Unit, that the original bridge was demolished in the face of the advancing Japanese and that the reconstruction had taken eight months. The dopesheet refers to the Royal Engineers '[inspiring the Japs] to work at full speed', but credits the Royal Engineers for the speedy completion of the bridge.