Dramatic reconstruction of events during the Battle of Ypres in the First World War.
"The end is not yet, nor is relief at hand. To the rear of the firing line Padre E.J. Kennedy snatches a hasty breakfast." M/S of the padre sitting with his horse, a messenger approaches. "We're in a hole - the enemy is advancing rapidly - ambulances from Ypres have been ordered to join us - they must be stopped - every wire's cut and there's nobody to send!" The two men talk. The padre snatches the message and looks angry. "They're shelling the road like blazes!" The padre mounts his horse as a shell explodes close by him, "If that's a specimen I'm in for a lively time." The padre rides off at speed with the messenger following on foot. Shells explode around the padre as he rides along. "The ambulances leave Ypres at the appointed time." Good M/S of the ambulances moving off. "The Chaplain's road lies over the famous Hill 60. Three miles - and heavy shell fire all the way." Padre rides through the countryside between shell fire. M/S of ambulances en route. Padre manages to intercept the ambulances and they turn back. "The Padre received no reward for his action, but like countless others he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had done his duty." C/U of the padre putting on his hat and patting his steed - the horse's neck is foamy to show how fast he has been riding.
"The front line trenches are still unconnected ditches, but the line holds. Food, when there is any, must come over ground - with the enemy 100 yards away." M/S of men in the trenches under fire, they beckon to a colleague who is carrying two pails. The man is hit and falls down into the trench. C/U of him holding his arm as if wounded. Two other men comfort him and bandage his arm. "You won't read of their deeds in the History books, but they're deuced fine chaps are the Company cooks." The cooks is given a cigarette to smoke as his arm is bandaged. They pat him on the back and he gives the thumbs up sign. "Ypres, the only passage to the line for supplies, is then the centre of a converging fire and almost impassable - but not quite!"
Dark shot of cavalry riding through smoke of shell fire. "In the cellars of the stricken city Sister Marguerite and her band of heroic nuns quietly pursue their work of succour to the wounded. M/S of nuns tending to the wounded. A man is carried in by two Red Cross soldiers. Wounded man in foreground overacts a little! Nun stands up and poses in a pool of light looking up to the heavens and holding her hands together in prayer.
"Exhaustion at last compels the enemy to halt. The Salient still holds - the road to the Channel Ports is still barred." Aerial shot of Ypres area is shown, the outline drawn earlier is changed. "Relieved by their French comrades, the weary battalions stagger to rest - with the knowledge that the First Battle of Ypres is over and won." Soldiers - mostly wounded march away from the camera. "And the price - ! When at length the muster rolls are called but a quarter of that gallant company answer to their names." Low angle shot of the men looking dejected as they stand upon a hill and answer to the roll call. One man falls as the names are called and is helped to his feet by colleagues.
Rolling intertitle: "The British Army is no longer "contemptible" as witness the German Staff account "That neither the enemy's Commanders or their troops give way under the strong pressure we put upon them, gives us an opportunity of acknowledging that there were men of real worth opposed to us, who did their duty thoroughly." C/U of soldier with cigarette in his mouth and bayonet over his shoulder. He poses stationary for the camera. "Winter sets in, bringing with it great hardships. Taking rations to the men in the line is not so simple as it sounds." M/S of man standing in a very muddy trench. C/U of a sign which reads: "Beware Sniper" Man walks through the trench bending down very low. He carries supplies. M/S of a German sniper moving his gun forward. British soldier uses a plank of wood in an attempt to traverse the mud without being shot. C/U of gun nozzle being moved through a hole. Sniper fires.
The soldier kneels in the mud and looks at his hat. C/U of the hat, it has a hole in it - lucky escape. He puts his hat back on then picks up his bag of supplies. It is covered with mud. He shakes his head and looks annoyed. He then climbs out of the mud. M/S of group of men in the trench. The man who had been shot at approaches. "...your rations!! What about the hole in my hat?" The men look at his had "Your hat!! Pity it wasn't your....head!" The man throws the bag of supplies at them, just then a shell explodes close by. They duck for cover. They then help one of the men who has been wounded.
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