Rare First World War film footage on display at Royal B.C. Museum

Answering the Call features rare footage of Canadian troops training in Victoria, Vancouver and Comox

  • Jul. 30, 2014 7:00 p.m.

The Royal B.C. Museum will launch its commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War with a new installation in Clifford Carl Hall on Monday (Aug. 4), the first part of a continuing project to mark the historic milestone.

The centrepiece of the First World War –also known as the Great War – installation is a series of four videos painstakingly put together by Royal B.C. Museum archivist Dennis J. Duffy.

Answering the Call features rare footage of Canadian troops training in Victoria, Vancouver and Comox and of their departure for Eastern Canada and, ultimately, the battlefields of Europe.

“Our task at the museum is to cultivate a spirit of remembrance, especially when there are no more survivors of the Great War,” said Jack Lohman, Royal B.C. Museum CEO.

“Through projects like this we hope more objects, archives, photographs and films emerge from the depths of our collections and are shared for the benefit of all”.

Footage for Answering the Call comes from 10 reels of film preserved in Library and Archives Canada. Eight of the reels contain raw, unedited footage, with little information about their content.

The other two reels were shot by pioneering B.C. filmmaker A.D. (Cowboy) Kean, who attempted to document every unit that left the province to serve in the Great War.

Duffy has taken all of this footage – some severely deteriorated, most of it unidentified – and constructed a poignant and meaningful visual story, set to music, conveying the optimism and enthusiasm of recruits as they trained and departed for a conflict of unimaginable violence.

 

Commemoration will continue in fall 2014 with the digitization and online publishing of 5,000 pages of letters and diaries from the B.C. Archives related to the First World War.

 

 

Just Posted

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

Good Samaritans rescue Sidney senior trapped under mobility scooter

78-year-old broke her pelvis and spent a week in hospital after the accident

Downtown Victoria Shoppers Drug Mart to take over previous Chapters location

The drug store is moving next door to take on a two-storey expansion

Home care transition could exacerbate worker shortage: Seniors advocate

Advocate fears impact of eight-hour shift model on an industry under stress

Oak Bay student Ottawa bound as parliamentary page

Community-driven Leah Smith to join Page Program

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Experts butt heads in court, hunter loses case for return of ram

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Most Read