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Comments (5)

  1. johngleeson says

    CHANGING THE GUARD AT ST. JAMES'S 1890-1910. The footage seems to suggest a date of 1896 - 1897 rather than 1907, as a Guards' band by 1907 boasted 5 trombones rather than the 3 seen in the clip. Looking at the film, the band leading the parade is probably the Scots Guards' band, as the musician's tunic fronts appear to be in threes and their bearskin caps have no plume to them. The Corps of Drums and Regiment appear to be Grenadier Guards, as a white plume is visible to their headdresses. That there is no Drum Major leading the Guards is unusual, and the marching formation of the band, at 8 across and 5 deep is more in keeping with a Guards' band from the Victorian era. The significance of the '32 years ago' is (perhaps) linked to an early sound recording of the same ceremony from the late 1920's, with a comparison being made between the two films.

  2. johngleeson says

    CHANGING THE GUARD.

    From the 'Hull Daily Mail' of 29/6/1928:

    SHADOWS.

    The latest cinema enterprise "The Birth of the Film" has human interest and real drama. It reveals, too, the tragedy of Friese-Green, the Englishman whose genius did the pioneer work that alone made post-war Holywood possible. Exactly 39 years ago, Frieze-Green produced the world's first real motion picture. There is a quaint and sometimes pathetic interest about the first films shown publicly. What, for instance, has happened to the baby whose movie picture delighted cinema crowds in 1896? And what of those stalwart pre-War Grenadiers, shown changing the guard at St. James's Palace 32 years ago? Some of them may now wear the scarlet Waterloo tunics of Chelsea Pensioners, but most must be clicking noiseless heels amongst the brave phalanx of the shadows.

    The above piece confirms the clip as this missing Frieze-Green film. At 1896 it must rank as the earliest moving image of a Guards' band and Regiment.

    J.G.

  3. johngleeson says

    CHANGING THE GUARD AT ST. JAMES'S PALACE 1896.

    As noted on a Victorian film website:

    Lumiere opens at Gaiety Palace of Varieties, Birmingham, 13th April 1896.

    Films shown: Grenadier Guards' Band; Boxing Cats; A Contortionist; Serpentine Dance; Scotch Reel; Umbrella Dance; Blacksmith's Shop.

    They've got the corps of drums and regiment correct - but the band leading them not. This is probably one and the same film as described in the previous posts. As to whether its Friese-Green or Lumiere who took the film will require more research.

    On another site it notes that Britain's first moving picture show was given in London by Lumiere in 1896. The venue was on Regent Street, and this building is being restored as a cinema and due to open in 2015. There's a good chance that this film was one of the items shown on that landmark occasion in 1896.

    J.G.

  4. johngleeson says

    CHANGING THE GUARD AT ST. JAMES'S 1896.

    As found in the ads section of the 'London Standard' of Friday 22nd May 1896:

    EMPIRE THEATRE.

    LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE - NEW PICTURES TO-NIGHT. at 9.55.

    LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE.

    THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT ST. JAMES'S PALACE.

    TO-NIGHT at 9.55.

    This confirms the clip as a Lumiere work. It seems therefore that the film was taken April-May 1896.

    J.G.

  5. Nicholas Ward says

    Mr Gleeson\'s excellent comments and observations about the date of this film , can also be confirmed by an examination of the two marching detachments of Grenadier Guardsmen.
    They are carrying their rifles at the \"long shoulder\" rather than at the \"slope\" which was not introduced until 1897. The guardsmen are also wearing the black leather valise, which was in use in 1896, not being superseded until 1905, when a folded greatcoat was substituted.

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