Searching for 1914-1918 films of Bath and North East Somerset

The Arts Development team at Bath & North East Somerset Council is keen to hear from anyone who holds any film footage relating to the district dating from the First World War.

On parade in Great Pulteney Street 1915. © Bath in Time

On parade in Great Pulteney Street 1915. © Bath in Time

So far, 16 films have been located in the collections of Pathé and the British Film Institute.

The subjects filmed include the visit of the King and Queen to Bath in November 1917, a three-day Red Cross Fair held in Sydney Gardens in 1917, the wedding of the Prime Minister’s son, Richard Lloyd George, at Bath Abbey in 1917, and footage of the ‘Roll of Honour’ at Chew Magna – a community where every eligible man signed up to fight.

Military parade on Midland Road in Bath. © Bath in Time

Military parade on Midland Road in Bath. © Bath in Time

Film dating from this period is incredibly rare, but the Council’s Arts Development team is hoping there may be someone out there who knows of other films showing the area or local people in 1914-1918.

Anyone who has films from this period from places such as Radstock, Midsomer Norton, Bath, the Chew Valley and Keynsham, is urged to get in touch.

Most of the film that was produced during World War One was officially commissioned, and heavily censored by government agencies.

However, some people at the time would have owned cine cameras and taken amateur footage, perhaps of local places or family members. If you know of any such film please contact the Arts Development team on 01225 396138 or email centenary_worldwar1@bathnes.gov.uk.

All of the 1914-1918 films found will be listed on the Council’s World War One Centenary website, www.bathnes.gov.uk/WW1centenary. Where possible, links to online clips will be included.

The centenary website lists World War One commemorative events and projects taking place up until the end of 2018. If you are planning a World War One themed event or project in the area please email details to centenary_worldwar1@bathnes.gov.uk.