Marvellous Melbourne 1915

An early documentary film about the City of Melbourne, then the interim capital city of Australia. Made in 1910.

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The director Charles Cozens Spencer was famous for his bushranger films: “Captain Starlight” (Robbery Under Arms), “Captain Midgnight – The Bush King”, “The Life and Adventures of John Vane, The Notorious Australian Bushranger”, “Dan Morgan, The Terror of the Australian Bush” (Mad Dog Morgan). He also made the 1915 Film “The Shepherd of the Southern Cross.” He introduced Australia’s greatest silent film-maker, Raymond Longford, to the business. He died in September 1930 (he shot himself after going on a killing spree in Canada).

Special contents of this edition copyright 2010 Shane I Sullivan. Permission to use these items is granted under creative commons licence.


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Related period – First World War (production), First World War (content)
Creator – War Office (Production sponsor)
British Topical Committee for War Films (Production company)
Jury, William F (Production individual)
Malins, Geoffrey H (Production individual)
McDowell, J B (Production individual)
Production date -1917-01
Place made – GB
whole: Number Of Items/reels/tapes 5

Catalogue number
IWM 116

Object description
British operations in the Somme offensive between the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the Battle of the Ancre, Western Front, September-November 1916.

Full description
(Reel 1) Material from various phases of the Somme offensive without regard for logical or chronological continuity. The film opens with the unloading of supply trains, and soldiers on the march to the battlefield, horses being used to carry 18-pounder shells to the guns in saddle-panniers as the mud is impassable for wheeled transport, and the first appearance of the tanks. Includes brief footage of black servicemen of the British West Indies Regiment amongst a team of men loading the train. (Reel 2) 18-pounder guns, 6-inch and 8-inch howitzers fire under the control of battery officers and forward observation officers. A sequence of “Irish troops” attacking Martinpuich is shown (fake ?). (Reel 3) The tanks and Highlanders take Martinpuich on 15 September. (Reel 4) Scenes of ruins and a field dressing station after the battle. A German colonel captured with his staff on 13th November. Men of 63rd (Royal Naval) Division rest after capturing Beaumont Hamel. (Reel 5) General views of the Ancre battlefield and troops cleaning up and resting in the aftermath. The final sequence is of silhouetted supply columns moving on up the road. Among the various units in the film, those which are identified are three tanks, HMLS ‘Oh I Say !’, HMLS ‘Daphne’ and HMLS ‘Dodo’, the Australian 1st and 2nd Divisions, Howe and Hawke Battalions from 63rd (Royal Naval) Division, 29th Division, and several Infantry regiments. These include 4th Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, the Northamptonshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, the West Yorkshire Regiment, 7th and 8th Battalions, the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 13th Battalion, the Royal Scots, 11th Battalion, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 6th and 10th Battalions, the Cameron Highlanders, 8th and 9th Battalions, the Durham Light Infantry, the Essex Regiment and the Royal Welch Fusiliers

Please click on the link below to view


Oldest Footage of London Ever

From Yestervid

Ever wonder what London looked like over 100 years ago?

This is the oldest footage of London ever. Includes amazing old footage, plus modern shots of the same location today. Also features maps carefully researched to show where the camera was.



The video features:

  • 46 vintage shots of recognizable places in London from 1890-1920
  • Added dates and maps to show where the camera was
  • Amazing side-by-side comparison with modern footage of exactly the same spot
  • The clip that is the oldest surviving footage of London from 1890.

Here’s the film:

As far as we know, a project of this nature and factual depth has never been undertaken.


We also love the feeling of seeing the horse drawn carts, people and old buildings. Nostalgia makes you reflect on your own life and leaves you with a sense of wonder because essentially, this is your story.


In March 2015, old footage was researched and collected from various credible sources. The original shots were then recreated by visiting sites across London. The footage was carefully matched up, arranged by location, dates and other facts were researched, maps and some great aerial photos were added, and it was finished off with a classy soundtrack.


Praise for ‘Oldest Footage of London’:

“Breathtaking film” – Ramzy Alwakeel, London Evening Standard
“Worth sharing” –
“Remarkable video” – Paul Vale, Huffington Post UK
“Love the Video!” – David Clack, TimeOut
“Deeply moving” – Jonathan Kruk, Storyteller
“Amazing beautiful work… I absolutely love your channel” – Sueb Raschio


To Live In The 1920’s


The era saw the large-scale use of automobiles, telephones, motion pictures, radio, electricity, refrigeration, air conditioning; commercial, passenger, and freight aviation; unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, plus significant changes in lifestyle and culture.
The media focused on celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie stars, as cities rooted for their home teams and filled the new palatial cinemas and gigantic sports stadiums. In most major countries women won the right to vote. However, to some degree the 20’s was very much a cosmetic exercise for the majority of people were not rich, the poor lived in penury, racism was rampant,medical and education facilities were poor. It was also the era of  Prohibition and major crime

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 ended the era, as the Great Depression set in bringing years of worldwide gloom and hardship.

George VI’s -The Royal Wedding 1923 –


How the couple met

Albert Frederick Arthur George was born on 14 December 1895. As a child, despite being naturally left-handed, he was forced to write with his right, and his legs were encased in splints to straighten his knock knees.

At the age of 13, he was sent to naval college and eventually saw action as a junior officer in 1916.

In 1920, he met Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the outgoing daughter of a minor Scottish aristocrat. Born 4 August 1900, she spent much of her childhood in Scotland where she developed an interest in gardening, walking, fishing and farming.

Albert was drawn to the young woman, but she only accepted his proposal at the third attempt.

The wedding day

The ceremony took place on 26 April 1923, and the couple became the Duke and Duchess of York.

In a break with tradition, it was decided their wedding would be a public affair at Westminster Abbey instead of at a royal chapel. It is believed this decision was taken to lift the spirits of the nation following the ravages of the Great War (1914-18).

The event took place before the days of television; nor was it broadcast on the radio because the Archbishop of Canterbury was concerned that men might listen to it in public houses.

Elizabeth wore a dress in the fashion of the early 1920s, made by Madame Handley Seymour. Prince Albert wore full RAF dress.

Elizabeth laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in the Abbey, and royal brides since have copied this gesture.

The couple honeymooned in Scotland and Surrey.

Life after the wedding

The Duke and Duchess of York’s first child was Elizabeth, born 21 April 1926. A second daughter, Margaret, followed on 21 August 1930.

Their family life was altered dramatically by the death of Albert’s father, George V, and the subsequent abdication of Edward VIII. As the younger brother, the Duke of York ascended to the throne and became King George VI in December 1936. The Duchess became Queen Elizabeth.

Though untrained for the role, his hard-working and conscientious manner eventually won over the public. During World War II, the Royal Family’s refusal to leave Buckingham Palace – despite German bombing raids on London – increased their popularity.

In 1952, the King died aged just 56 after a series of health problems, culminating in lung cancer – he had been a heavy smoker.

His daughter ascended the throne as Queen Elizabeth II, and his widow became known as the Queen Mother. She continued with her public duties, and also cultivated a passion for horse-racing.

The Queen Mother died peacefully in her sleep in 2002, aged 101. Thousands of mourners queued for hours to pay their respects as she lay in state in Westminster Hall.

Worldwide interest in the life of King George VI increased from late 2010 with the release of The King’s Speech, an award-laden film about his battle to overcome his stammer.

The Open Road 1926

7.7/10 · IMDb

the open road


The Open Road is an interesting travel piece of a road trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Claude Friese-Greene started to record a car journey covering the length of Britain on film. Primarily considered as a perfect promotional tool for his emerging color film process, whereby alternate frames were tinted red and blue / green, Greene’s journey brought the countryside to life, enlightening natural color to an audience used to black and white. Initially planned to be shown weekly in cinemas, the 26 short episodes were combined to form an exclusive documentary of life in Britain between the wars. Now digitally renovated by the BFI, this compilation of highlights is a perfectly watchable flick. Opening in Land’s End, Greene’s journey takes in Plymouth, a hunt on Exmoor, the docks in Cardiff, and pleasure beach at Blackpool. In Scotland, Greene records shipbuilding on the Clyde, the banks of Loch Lomond, and Stirling and Edinburgh Castles, before returning to London.


Delhi Durbar 1912

Delhi Dubar 1912

The Imperial Durbar at Delhi in 1911 – A film produced to celebrate the coronation of George V as King-Emperor at the Imperial Durbar of 1911.

Viceroy Lord Hardinge was instructed after the coronation of George V in June 1911 to organise an Indian equivalent to pageantries in Britain. The chosen model of an ‘Imperial Durbar’ was an old one. Previous shows of Indian obeisance before a representative of the Crown had occurred in 1877 and 1903 after Victoria and Edward VII were declared Empress and Emperor of India. The ceremonies organized by Hardinge at Delhi from 7th to 16th December 1911 operated within this invented tradition.

The Durbar was used to contrast British modernity with Indian tradition. Europeans at the Durbar were instructed to dress in contemporary styles even when celebrating an older British Imperial past (as with the ‘Mutiny’ veterans). Indians, however, were to wear Oriental costumes as motifs of their otherness. The construction of this exaggerated sense of Imperial order at the Durbar was significant. The event was used to declare New Delhi as the new capital of British India. Delhi was chosen as a refuge from the nationalist sentiment that had gripped the old capital of Calcutta. The Durbar was a show of Imperial continuity by an increasingly anxious Empire.

British Documentary