5.2 Reporting on the war

During the First World War, newspaper reporting on warfare was still a relatively new idea. People could go to the cinema to see newsreels, but they did not have televisions in their homes. The films on this page show a military newspaper at the front, film and poster strategies, and the activities of the press.

1 MIN 13 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1915

This excellent piece of footage shows the distribution of a military newspaper to soldiers on the Western Front in France, probably during 1915.


1 MIN 52 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918

The film opens with a call to buy victory bonds (by which members of the public would be loaning the government money for the war effort which would be paid back with interest after the war). There follows a shot of Chancellor of the Exchequer Bonar Law speaking. There is then a close up of a letter (unfortunately illegible in the footage) signed by King George V. We then get a glimpse of wartime Trafalgar Square in London where banners urge people to give to the fund. A huge banner hanging from the National Gallery asks, 'YOU! Have you bought your war loan? Germany is watching.'


0 MINS 52 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918

Members of the press take a tour of the Roman Baths in the historic city of Bath in Somerset during the First World War. They then travel to a hospital where they meet recuperating Australian soldiers who have been wounded, and talk to nurses.

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