Dramatic reconstruction of events during the Battle of Ypres in the First World War.
Night shots of officer looking around the trenches. He advances and grabs a rifle to join the combat. "Hour after hour this Oxford Undergraduate, supported by the N.C.O.'s Pulleyn and Peabody with their handful of Territorials, holds the hill safe within his keeping." Staged shots of hand to hand combat with a German soldier and much firing of guns.
"For the great gallantry and endurance displayed 2nd Lieutenant Woolley was awarded the first Victoria Cross given to a Territorial officer. Sergeant Pulleyn and Corporal Peabody each received the Distinguished Conduct Medal." C/U of actor playing Lieutenant Woolley throwing grenades. M/S showing the soldiers in the trench around him firing guns. M/S of soldiers approaching the camera as they move through a wood. Shots are fired, shells explode. M/S of men firing from a trench behind barbed wire. "For a moment the 4th Ontarios waver." The men seem to retreat. Their Commanding Officer Lieut. Colonel Birchall carrying, after a fashion, a light cane, coolly and cheerfully rallies his men." More shots of the combat, Birchall is shot and falls to the ground. "His is no wasted death. Spurred to vengeance by their leader's fall, the Canadians surge forward in one headlong rush, capturing their objective, and bayoneting every defender." C/U of one of his men lifting Birchall's body as he dies. The soldier points to the body of the dead Commander and the men are inspired to fight on. Good shot of dramatic acting. A soldier with wild eyes fixes a bayonet to his rifle - C/U of his anguished face. The men charge with bayonets.
"The line is restored, only to be breached elsewhere. Ammunition exhausted, a Canadian battery labours desperately to save its guns." Shot of men dragging gun away from the line of fire. "The enemy are almost upon them when Lance-Corporal Fisher of the 13th Canadians rushes forward with a machine gun...."
M/S of man rushing in front of the gun as it is rolled backwards. "...and stays the enemy advance". Soldier in shadows of the trees fires a Vickers Gun. Soldier who feeds in the ammunition gets hit. "The guns are saved but Lance Corporal Fisher is killed. For his self sacrificing gallantry he was awarded the Victoria Cross." M/S of the Vickers Gun being fired. Reverse angle of men advancing through the woods.
"Advanced Dressing Stations frequently become engulfed in the firing line and many a man owes his life to the gallantry and coolness of Captain Francis Scrimger of the Canadian Medical Service." M/S of a medical station. Doctor tends to the wounded. Men are carried on stretchers. M/S of man having a bandage applied to his arm. The stretcher is then carried off and the next wounded man is brought to Captain Scrimger for attention. Red Cross flag flies in the background of the shot. "Forced by withdrawals of the Infantry to retire, Captain Scrimger, under heavy fire, successfully directs the removal of all casualties in his charge." Shells fall, a hut collapses, Captain Scrimger rescues the man trapped underneath it. He helps the man to safety. "The last of the wounded he carries to safety on his back. For his heroic conduct between 22nd and 25th April Captain Scrimger was awarded the Victoria Cross." M/S of a trench, shell fire all around. Captain Scrimger carries the rescued man on his back.
"Daily the gap grows wider - the South is urgently appealed to - Cavalry are dispatched to the rescue..." Men walk through battlefields, the cavalry approach the men wave their hats in greeting and appreciation. The cavalry ride past the camera. "...and Indian troops are hastening to lend a hand." "Meanwhile the 13th Brigade, under Brigadier General Wanless O'Gowan, and a detachment of odd battalions and "details" under Colonel Geddes, are mustered as a last resource to hold the breach till they arrive."
M/S of group of soldiers standing "at ease" waiting for instruction. Guns are distributed. Closer shot of the men. Most wear hats of the Scottish regiment. "What's this for sergeant?" said the Artilleryman" He holds up the gun and smiles. "Wait and see!"is the response. One of the Scottish soldiers explains to the Artilleryman how to use his gun. He looks it up and down. "And the 13th Brigade with the nameless companies of Geddes' Detachment hold fast the line - and die still holding, according to instructions." M/S of men firing from the trenches. Large shell explosion takes place but the men carry on shooting. One man is hit by a bullet, some advance, others are hit. Nice combat footage even though it is faked!
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Note: there are two safety prints of reel 3 - check label on lid for best quality.