‘With the North and South Irish At The Front’ Official pictures of the British army in France-Fourth series
The opening titles tell us we are looking at the Ulster Division, probably from 1915-17. We then see huge numbers of soldiers from that division all posing, smiling and waving for the camera. The titles then show us the Royal Dublin fusiliers. Similar scenes follow, the Dubliners holding up items they have taken in battle such as the famous German spiked helmet.
In 1914 Ireland was on the verge of Civil War between Unionists and Nationalists. Unionists, mainly in Ulster, wanted to keep British rule in Ireland. Nationalists wanted independence for Ireland. When the war broke out in 1914 the two sides rallied to the war effort. Each hoped that by serving in the war they would get what they wanted after the war.
Interesting or important points about the film
There are two very strong themes running through this clip. The first is that the war is going well, and that the public should see soldiering in a positive light. The second message is aimed at audiences in Ireland. We are being told that the North and South Irish are fighting together against the common enemy. Indeed the film is evidence for the fact that the British Army on the Western Front contained a number of divisions made up exclusively of Irishmen. Arguably this film was an attempt to help keep the peace in Ireland.
Please note that this video is silent.