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  • Short Summary

    8 reels of naval footage - some newsreel items, some unedited material. 1939?

  • Description

    Reel 6. Pathe Gazette story: "Our Navy At Exercises." (39/23?) Large warships in port - according to card index this is off Gibraltar. Panning shots. Destroyer (?) seen in L/S. Sea plane comes in to land close to a boat. Man balances on the top wing of the plane - probably attaching ropes. Top shot of sailors on deck hauling ropes. Shot of the plane being winched aboard. Two men stand on the wings. C/U of barrels of large guns on board boat. Man below decks in pyjamas lifts himself into a high hammock by grabbing on to a beam and hoisting himself up. He then pulls a blanket over himself and lies back. Two men walk up a step ladder to board the sea plane. View of the ship from the plane as it takes off and flies away. Sailors operate a revolving gun on board the ship. One of the sailors points up at the sky. Shot of the ship's funnel with the plane visible in the distance. Large gun barrels are moved as aim is taken. Men on deck operate a signalling device - black and white levers at the top of a pole (which look like large pieces of Meccano) are moved with the aid of ropes attached to handles. Minesweeper (?) leaving dock. Navy personnel stand on deck. Minelayers (?) move in port - one has M47 painted on side, another has H08. The latter passes quite close to the camera. Men stand to attention on deck. Various views of naval vessels including larger battleships and other sweepers. C/U of sea plane from a low angle. Men pass a rope to a man sitting on the top wing. Battleships on the horizon - various views of various ships. Battleships in the harbour and out to sea. This section of film quite scratched.

    Unedited material. Naval officers walk along the bows of a boat whilst the crew stands to attention. Launch draws alongside the larger ship. High ranking naval officers board the ship and inspect the crew. M/S of the launch moving right to left. (This film is being catalogued from the negative so it is hard to identify the flag at the front of the launch but I presume it is a Royal launch so George VI possibly on board and visiting ship.) Short shot of men working on deck. L/S of two warships. Launch travelling past ship. Aerial view of convoy of warships. Plane follows the line of ships. Closer shots of various ships below the plane.

    L/S of the convoy from the plane. Plane follows the line of ships. Very high shot of the convoy showing large number of ships. View of the convoy from one of the ships - they are travelling together in a straight line. Shot of a ship manoeuvring.

    Frigate (?) travelling at speed from various angles. C/Us of men on deck lifting ammunition. C/Us of men crouching by a row of shells and affixing or tightening caps C/U of men screwing something on to the front of the shells. Aircraft (Spitfire or Hurricane?) taxiing to take off from an aircraft carrier. Men in metal helmets and balaclavas look through telescopes and binoculars and man guns on board ship. View of the plane as it takes off. L/S of a warship in the distance firing guns (side view). Small explosion in the sea a long way from the camera. Short shots of explosions in the sky. Aircraft flies towards the camera. Plane flies past. Shot of the plane landing on the aircraft carrier. Uniformed men stand on bows of boat and look out to sea. Wider shot of aircraft coming in to land on carrier. Men run out to plane as it comes to a halt. Various shots of aircraft landing and slowing down. Several biplanes in the sky. Two shots of biplane coming in to land. Minesweeper (?) Biplane.

    Section above duplicated in a second neg.

    "Perpetual Motion - Mr Noble" - Still advertising poster for Ovaltine featuring elegantly dressed woman sitting on a coach about to take a sip of a cup of Ovaltine. Words to her right say: "Good Night!" Graphic world map. Marseilles, Indochina, Casablanca, Algeria, Tunisia and Madagascar are identified. Animated lines join all these places to Marseilles.

    A foundry. Hot metal being poured, sparks flying. Man looks down into a barrel from which a long pipe protrudes. C/U of a drum revolving, a piece of metal pressed against it produces smoke. Top shot of factory floor. Large gun barrel (presumably) is suspended above the factory floor and moved around by means of ropes. Short shot of naval convoy. Short top shot of a submarine submerging or emerging.

    Montage of short shots of guns firing, side views of battleships firing salvos, ships being hit, men operating guns, torpedoes being launched, explosions in the sea, smoke clouds, top shot of guns being moved to take aim - camera moving with the guns. All the above looks to be a real battle, but could be an exercise. Troop inspections. Group of men in raincoats stand in a semicircle - could be top military personnel, one is French. (Cataloguing from negative so difficult to identify personalities.)

    Closer shots of the men talking. Montage of army manoeuvres - shots are dissolved into each other: soldiers on the march, on horseback, transportation of ammunition by horse and cart etc. Map of Europe with shots of naval convoys superimposed on the sea area intercut with top shots of men and tanks moving across the area.

    Note: reel 6 was catalogued from the negative on a machine that only views in positive. Therefore some details unclear.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    hd format:
    4K at Filmfinity
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:01:00 / 01:15:24:00

Comments (2)

  1. Unknown user says


    This clip is marked 1939, but in at least one scene, the French ship l'incomprise is shown after it was seized by the British at Portsmouth in July 1940 and assigned the marking H47 (it was previously marked T112 whilst with the French navy), so this clip (at around 1m 15s) at least must be post July 1940.

    The description suggests l'incomprise is a minesweeper when it's actually a La Melpomène-class torpilleur (torpedo boat) - the equivalent of a British destroyer.

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  2. royalnavfan says

    At about 1m 24s the ship bearing H47 is the "B" class destroyer HMS Blanche. She has the national markings on the forward super-firing gun shield that was used by British warships on neutrality patrol during the Spanish Civil War from July 1936 to April 1939. Blanche was the first British destroyer lost in WW2 when she struck a German mine in the Thames estuary in November 1939. This footage could not be from 1940.

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