Does anyone know the story behind this...

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by Drew5233, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive


    I've seen it a lot lately in the film format on the news etc etc and have see it again today on a you tube link.

    Does anyone know anything about these two men?

    The web page I eventually found the picture on said a casualty from the Somme being carried to a First Aid Post and died a short time later.

    It reminds me of the news clip from the Falklands where a Welsh Guardsman is carrying a mate a shore after Galahad and Tristram got bombed. He has the same look in his eyes as he says something along the lines of 'I hope you are F***ing enjoying yourselves' to the camera crew.

    Any more info would be great

  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I heard the injured man was either dying or dead when this footage was taken - another one of those wallpaper TV moments, wasn't paying attention.

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Diane,

    I only asked because the image keeps poping up and me being curious. It seems to always find its way into a montage of clips (and rightly so) when anyone does a story on WW1.
  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique MOD

    There's a whole, massive, thread about this on Great War Forum. I will see if I can find it later for you. Many people have 'claimed' him.
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'm trying to find it on the GWF.
    The book that comes with the film from the IWM says the men are unknown although many names have been put forward none have been proved.
    I've had the video awhile now so the story may have been updated by now.

    You can still buy it on DVD from the IWM shop.

    The Battle of the Somme DVD

    Look at the viewing notes pdf file at 0 33 182 to see what they say.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Looking throught some of my old posts (As you can tell).

    Any joy Owen?
  7. Dave

    Dave Junior Member

    seen this a lot in TV programs,it surly looks "staged",i,ve a feeling he was a sergent and possibly Canadian-but the old grey matter is not what it used to be...

  8. Jaeger

    Jaeger Senior Member

  9. DaveW53

    DaveW53 Member

    July 1st 1916 - one of the bloodiest days in the history of Britain was captured on film. A cameraman called Geoffrey Malins had been allowed to the front lines on The Somme by the British generals. Along with fellow official cinematographer John McDowell, Malins created a graphic portrayal of trench warfare that showed dying British and German soldiers.When Malins's footage was released in British cinemas it was a sensation. The film attracted a domestic audience of 20 million, nearly half the entire population of wartime Britain.

    Ninety years later a team of documentary-makers and historical experts subjected the film to critical scientific analysis via a History Channel documentary The Battle of the Somme: The True Story. The team used techniques ranging from satellite analysis of trench locations to professional lip-reading and the latest facial-recognition software to prove the genuine nature of many of the battle scenes in the film.

    The facial recognition software, more normally used by Scotland Yard to identify criminals, also came up with a positive match for another soldier in Malins's original footage. William Holland, who served with the Royal Engineers during the First Wold War, is seen carrying a wounded colleague towards the camera. Shortly after this scene, a caption informs the audience that the injured man died just 20 minutes later.

    However further investigations indicate William Holland was on ‘home service’ during and until some months after the conclusion of the battle of the Somme. The identity of the soldier remains unknown.

    YouTube - Battle Of The Somme - The True Story - Part 3 of 8

    YouTube - Battle Of The Somme - The True Story - Part 4 of 8

    The documentary has been followed by a recent (March 2009) Pen & Sword book:
    Ghosts on the Somme: Filming the Battle, June-July 1916 by Alastair H. Fraser, Andrew Robertshaw and Steve Roberts.

    Ghosts on the Somme: Filming the Battle, June-July 1916: Alastair H. Fraser, Andrew Robertshaw, Steve Roberts: Books

    There is an IWM viewing guide to accompany the film. Regarding the above scene, the note says: “An unconscious wounded man being carried on another’s back along a trench towards the camera, ending up in close up. Malins describes the rescue incident in his memoirs, filmed at ‘White City’ on 1 July. The Imperial War Museum has received several letters and other correspondence suggesting possible identifications for the rescuing soldier, but none of them has so far been conclusively proved. The man being rescued wears a 29th Division shoulder flash.”
    Intriguingly, the next scene shows a wounded man being carried on a stretcher down a trench occupied by kilted Scottish soldiers. They are 2nd Seaforth Highlanders of 4th Division, who were positioned next to 29th Division. Ghosts on the Somme (Chapter 7) suggests a location for the rescue, and analyses the sequence (and matching still photographs) in considerable detail. They then suggest that the casualty on the stretcher is the same as the one just seen being shoulder‐carried, and identify the Lance Corporal leading the stretcher as Walter Lydamore, who recognised himself in a screening of the film in 1964 in a story picked up by the Southend Pictorial.

    Charley Fortnum and Jaeger like this.
  10. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member Patron

    Whilst not WW2 I can understand the interest. I'm from Southend and whilst I don't recall this in any detail, I thought the carrier had been identified as an Essex man, (if not an Essex Regiment soldier) Others may know better........
  11. DaveW53

    DaveW53 Member

    I refer you to my post above. In addition, have a read of the viewing guide that is available via the link here that accompanies the IWM's digitally restored dvd of the Battle of the Somme.

    The Battle of the Somme DVD

    Look at page 16 of the guide that is timelined as 33 minutes and 18 seconds into the film. Follow that with the section titled Provenance at the foot of that page and continuing on the next which refers to relevant research in the book Ghosts on the Somme.

  12. WadCheber

    WadCheber New Member

    It is real, according to the recent study, "Ghosts on the Somme". More footage that appears to have been taken around the same time of the day as this clip has been analyzed by a lip reader. She saw one man, hopping along on a wounded foot saying "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" with each step, then "Fuck!" as he finally limped into a dugout. Another soldier then looks at the camera and says "Stop filming, this is awful!", which isn't the kind of thing an actor would say if he had been hired to reenact the battle on SILENT film. Whoever they are, they're real soldiers, and one of them is badly injured.

    The original movie includes a caption card after this shot that says the wounded man died minutes later. I don't know if that's true, or how you might prove it to be true, but it is certainly plausible - for one thing, he is obviously very seriously hurt; for another, some 20,000 Britons died that day, and there's no reason to believe this man wasn't one of them.
    Charley Fortnum, canuck and Drew5233 like this.
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I've always wondered what a lip-reader would make of the whole film when I've watched it.
    Has that ever been done ?
  14. WadCheber

    WadCheber New Member

    A promotional blurb for the book "Ghosts on the Somme" mentioned the lipreader (I believe it was Jessica Rees, the woman who did some lipreading for the Somme documentary linked in previous posts here) going through "over 90 minutes of footage". The famous film of the battle is about that long, and it contains a lot of footage that couldn't be transcribed by a lipreader - shots of explosions, long-distance shots of troops advancing across no man's land and falling down, etc. I don't know how much of the film is composed of material the lipreader could actually use (i.e., footage of people close to the camera, faces visible, and speaking), nor do I know how much of that... um... "lipreadable" footage was actually transcribed, or how much of the transcription was included in the book.
  15. jimbop

    jimbop Active Member

    i thought he was identified 'nearly' as canadian in a prog i saw maybe last year or 2.
    this clip must come 2nd to the 'mostly shown war clip' of all time........that poor bastard who drops on Omaha beach.

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