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Title:THE ESSEX REGIMENT CROSSING THE VAAL RIVER ON THE WAGON PUNT [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 1081b
Summary: A company of Infantry crosses the river, the boundary between the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic, South Africa, May 1900.
Description: A punt is crammed full with the men, who have no room to move. It is pulled across the river and they disembark on the far side. The date originally given was 26 May, but independent evidence (see Notes) suggests that the crossing was in fact filmed on 27 May, and that the troops seen are 'B' Company of the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 98 ft; Running time: 2 mins
Notes: Title: this has been taken from the Warwick catalogue for 1900
Production: this film is Warwick catalogue number 5732a
Summary: the identification of this film was made by James Barker, late of the Department of Information Retrieval, Imperial War Museum, in work for the television series 'Flashback'. The circumstances of the filming are described in a diary kept by (then) Captain Henry Broadmead, who commanded B Company of the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment at the time. His diary entry for Sunday 27 May 1900 reads "... we crossed the Vaal river by a chain ferry at 11.50 near Viljories Drift, railway bridge broken. I and my company were cinematographed as we landed ..." A typed transcript of the diary is held by the Essex Regiment Museum, and details of this entry were sent in a letter from the Keeper, Ian Hook, to Brad King of the IWMFVA on 1 September 1999.
Technical: this item is currently held on a single reel with films IWM 1081a-g, the can is marked as IWM 1081