Soldiers Train For Trenches AKA 9th West… 1914-1918

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  • This is unlikely to be 9th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment, which at the time of this film was serving in France. The unit is almost certainly the 19th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, which was a training battalion, supplying men to the two Leeds 'Pals' battalions of the West Yorks, the 15th and 17th (Bantams). The 19th was stationed at Clipstone Camp near Mansfield at this time. The date of the film is proved by an article in the Leeds Mercury 13 Jan 1916 which shows photos of the catapults featured in the film. The filming is described in a letter dated 11 January 1916 from Pte Henry Coulter of Huddersfield, then training with the 19th Bn: '...we have had the Lord Mayor up & the Cinema Man, as arranged... He took us at Bayonet Fighting, Swedish Drill, With Full Pack & Rifle (as on a route march) & also at Boxing, Football & Dinner, so I think there will be a few more 'smiling faces' on the Gaumont Graphic next week.' Coulter was killed that October. With thanks to Pauline Marples.

    John Rumsby 20th Mar 2014

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