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  • Short Summary

    Epic but nicely edited account of unveiling of South African War Memorial at Delville Wood.

  • Description

    Full title reads: "Unveiling of South African National Memorial, Delville Wood."

    Delville Wood, Longueval, Somme, France.

    Intertitle: "To the immortal Dead from South Africa ... who at the call of duty made the great sacrifice on the battlefields of Africa, Asia and Europe, and on the Sea. Their ideal is our legacy. Their sacrifice our inspiration."

    Intertitle: "First to arrive at Delville Wood on Sunday morning was H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught. He was received by Brigadier General W.E.C. Tanner, C.B., C.M.C., D.S.O., and conducted by Guard of Honour, which he inspected".

    Various shots of Prince Arthur (in uniform), Tanner and other officers inspecting troop of soldiers.

    Intertitle: "Prince Arthur talking to Pipe Major McClelland, V.C."

    M/S of Prince talking to officer in kilt.

    Intertitle: "The Procession led by the Right Rev. Dr. Furse, Bishop of St. Albans, and the Rev. Dr. Van de Merwe, Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church, forming up at the Stone of Remembrance".

    L/S of procession led by Bishops walking through World War One cemetery. Raining hard - many mourners carry umbrellas.

    Intertitle reads: "The silent salute at the Cross of Sacrifice".

    M/S of mourner's procession passing memorial in cemetery, officers bring up rear.

    Intertitle reads: "The Procession entering the Wood proceeded by the Guard of Honour and followed by the Pipe Band and Buglers".

    Various shots of crowds, including pipe band, veterans, soldiers and civilians moving across field towards arch entrance to cemetery. Rain comes down heavily.

    Intertitle reads: "The Procession passing through the Central Archway on its way to the Cross of Consecration".

    L/S of bishops leading procession through arch entrance, people watch from rows of chairs at sides.

    Intertitle reads: "At the Cross of Consecration - 'Ik ben de opstanding en het leven; die in Mij gelooft, za leven, al ware hij ook gestorven'. (in Afrikaans?)

    Various L/Ss of procession moving towards large stone crucifix, pausing in silence before moving away from it.

    Intertitle reads: "Upon the return of the Procession from the Cross of Consecration the Military Representatives of all the Fighting Forces of South Africa lined up to right and left of the platform".

    Intertitle reads: "Upon the platform itself were (from left to right) Prince Arthur of Connaught, General Barbier (representing the French Republic and deputising for Marshal Joffres)".

    Intertitle reads: "Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, the Marquess of Crewe (British Ambassador in Paris) and General J.B.M. Hertzog (Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa)".

    Intertitle reads: "Second row - Field-Marshal Earl Haig, Mrs. Louis Botha, Mr. Amert (Secretary of State for the Dominions), Lady Lukin and M. Emery (the Prefect of the Department of the Somme)".

    Panning L/S of a man giving speech from steps in front of arch. Two rows of dignitaries sit behind him. More people sit on rows of chairs to either side, including bishops and officers. Behind them lots more people listen standing.

    Intertitle reads: "Over 1,200 people assembled to pay Honour to South Africa's Glorious Dead".

    Panning shot of crowd.

    Intertitle reads: "Address by Sir Percy Fitz-Patrick. A message from the Prince of Wales".

    Intertitle reads: "'If I cannot be present in person with my many friends from South Africa, met together to honour the memory of the sons of the Union who gave their lives in the Great War, my thoughts will be with you on this solemn occasion which recalls to us all the spirit of the Delville Days, and an enduring example of comradeship in a commons cause'. Edward P. (aka Prince Edward, Prince of Wales)"

    M/S of Sir Percy reading this message from a podium, dignitaries sitting behind him.

    Intertitle reads: "The concluding remarks of Sir Percy FitzPatrick - 'Here as my brothers side by side they stood, and here they dies - Yea and made their burial place altar of a Nation'."

    Intertitle reads: "Ten years have elapsed since the sons of South Africa made history upon this historic soil, The healing hand of time has covered many searing scars, but the broken stumps of once majestic trees still stand as grim reminders of the terrible havoc wrought by shot and shell".

    C/U of Sir Percy speaking. L/S of crowd gathered around arch.

    Intertitle reads: "General Hertzog, in accepting the Memorial on behalf of the Government of the Union, said: 'I gladly accept from you this Memorial in sacred trust for the people of South Africa and with your permission I shall now request Mrs. Botha whose presence here today ...' "

    Intertitle reads: "... cannot but gladden the hearts of disconsolate mothers to perform the proud task of unveiling this Memorial in honour of South Africa's Fallen Sons."

    C/U of General Hertzog speaking. M/S of General J. M. B. Hertzog turning to address dignitaries sitting behind the speaker's podium.

    Story resumes at 01:41:39 after section of spacing.

    Intertitle reads: "The Unveiling by Mrs. Botha, amid a solemn hush".

    M/S of dignitaries gathered around Mrs. B. as she pulls a rope. L/S of rope pulling open two large Union Jacks, that drape over arch. Low angle shot flags, tilt down to dignitaries, the officers salute. Various shots of dignitaries and mourners standing in silence, some saluting. L/S of horse statue on top of arch. L/S of the two bishops, one is reading aloud.

    Intertitle reads: "The Clergy pronounce the words of Dedication."

    Intertitle reads: "To the Glory of God we dedicate this Memorial to the men of South Africa who gave their lives for us".

    C/U of bishop reading aloud from bible.

    Intertitle reads: "Military representatives from South Africa - Mrs. Vintcent and the Blinded Soldier are on the extreme left".

    Panning shot of row of South African army officers. Mrs V. and blind ex-servicemen in civvies are at end of row. M/S of bishops. M/S dignitaries on steps in front of arch. C/U of bishop holding crook, giving speech to crowd. M/S horse statue. More shots dignitaries.

    Intertitle reads: "To the great regret of the French people as well as our own, the inclemency of the weather and ill-health prevented Marshal Joffre at the last moment from attending. His message was read by his Staff Officer ... ". (end obscured by timecode)

    M/S of French Staff Officer speaking from podium. L/S of aeroplane swooping over arch and crowds, in foreground are stumps of trees - reminders of battlefield.

    Intertitle reads: "Address by Field-Marshal Earl Haig".

    Intertitle reads: "In paying my tribute of respect to the valour of South Africa's sons, and to the memory of her Glorious Dead, I know that while this Memorial stands witness to the sacrifice she made in the common cause".

    Intertitle reads: "... the call which was answered so gallantly by those who lie at rest in honour before us, will never sound in vain in the wars of the people of South Africa".

    M/S of Field-Marshal Earl Haig giving a speech from podium on steps in front of arch.

    Intertitle reads: "The Laying of Wreaths by Lady Lukin, Mrs. Botha, the Blinded Soldier accompanied by Mrs. Vintcent, Mrs. Stanford (representing the South African Military Nursing Service) and the Military representatives of all the Fighting Forces of South Africa".

    L/S of representative mentioned above laying wreaths on steps and walls around arch.

    Intertitle reads: "To the mournful strains of the Lament played by the pipe band of the Seaforth Highlanders, the Laying of Wreaths took place".

    Intertitle reads: "Following the Representatives of the various War Fronts came the Delegates of the Cities, Towns and Organisations of South Africa and Great Britain".

    Various shots of above representative laying wreaths. Some wreaths are attached to ropes and hoisted side of arch. Low angled C/U of wreath dangling on side of arch.

    Intertitle reads: "The British Legion of Paris, headed by their flags, placing their tribute to their Comrades from South Africa".

    Various shots of British Legion representatives, walking of flags of France, U.K. and South Africa, laying wreaths by walls surrounding arch. More general crowd shots.

    Intertitle reads: "At a point half a kilometre from the town of Albert on the road to Amiens, the United Forces of Great Britain and France finally stayed the advance of the enemy in 1918."

    Intertitle reads: "At this point a Triumphal Arch was erected. Earl Haig was received by the Chairman - Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, the Mayor of Albert, the Military Representatives and Guard of Honour from South Africa".

    M/S of Haig and dignitaries walking through smaller arch with large banner reading - 'Albert'. They all face the camera and salute. Haig stops to shake hands with some of row of soldiers.

    Intertitle reads: "Earl Haig's Address - the closing words".

    Intertitle reads: "So shall this Arch bridge the gulf of the years between and knit all the wide Dominions of the Empire into a brotherhood of noble purpose and endeavour".

    M/S of Haig reading speech to crowd of veterans and dignitaries. Various panning L/Ss of small crowd gathered around Albert arch.

    Intertitle reads: "A small son of South Africa in France, whose father dies for South Africa - 'Scatty' Mitchell, Jnr."

    C/U of little boy in kilt and tam-o'-shanter, wearing father's medals, standing beside a memorial stone.

    Cuts / out takes start at -1:52:24. C/U of one of dignitaries at Delville Wood memorial - a French Officer with large white beard. M/S of soldier buglist (British?) playing the last post. M/S of Field Marshal Earl Haig buttoning up his coat and talking to another officer. Otherwise shots are same or similar to those in edited part of item.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Pathe newsreels
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:29:55:00 / 01:57:39:00
    G 1337

Comments (3)

  1. Unknown user says

    Some interesting points from the clip.
    1. The reason why Bishop Furse Bishop of St. Albans was involved is that he was Bishop of Pretoria from 1903 and during the Great War period.

    2. Although South Africa's flag at the time was a Red Ensign note only Union Jacks were used which gives credence to the Nationalists at the time who said the old Red Ensign was hardly ever used or recognised as South Africa's flag.

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