Film ID: YFA 3815 Video of YFA_3815 Bailey Bridge BAILEY BRIDGE 1944 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film of a training camp in the Ribble Valley of Royal Engineers from Yorkshire and Lancashire constructing Bailey Bridges in 1944. The filmmaker, presumably one of the soldiers, has later added a witty commentary. Title - A Torenton Film Produced by G Walker Corps Royal Engineers No. 6 Training Battalion Royal Engineers The film begins with a group of soldiers larking about. As the film shows soldiers cutting lengths of timber with diesel saws (one soldier has the number 720 on his arm), the commentary explains that it is 1944, possibly at Low Moor, Clitheroe. Another soldier cuts a log using an adze. Then soldiers from four platoons race each other on three rowing boats, naval cutters they had made, on the River Ribble. Some film is taken on board one of the boats, with the cine camera facing the crew and with the cox at the back urging them on. Platoon no. 3 was the winner. The soldiers are shown training to use plastic explosives to blow up holes in roads to disrupt enemy transport. They are out practicing on moorland, and they push steel joists over a hole to make a bridge. The commentary explains that the soldiers seen come from Yorkshire and Lancashire: Leeds, Halifax, Bolton and Hull. The film shows the handmade roads and Bailey Bridges they had built using wire meshing and timber frames. It then shows some drawings of Bailey Bridges design in detail. The plans also show how to construct the bridge. The commentary gives an account of its features, including the use of ramps and jacks. Having shown the drawings, the soldiers are than shown constructing a large bridge designed to take heavy vehicles. It is built in 1 hr. 20 mins. The bridge is pushed across a large ravine, ready for tanks to cross. Having put it into place the soldiers march across. A bridge is then built across the river. The soldiers line up on the newly constructed bridge and pose for the camera. Back at the base, they march off for tea. Title - The End Context Teamwork and camaraderie is not in short supply in this 1944 Royal Engineer training film. First, there’s time for the men to have a laugh and joke before hard work ensues as they construct several temporary bridges. They lift and position seemingly impossibly heavy bridges with great ease which the camera marvels over and exploits to great effect. A Bailey Bridge is a portable form of bridge that was developed by the British during the Second World War. Bailey Bridges were extremely useful for the allies when enemy forces destroyed bridges during retreat. Despite being lightweight and easily transportable, the bridges were able to carry the weight of heavy vehicles and tanks. Experienced Royal Engineers were able to erect heavy-duty Bailey Bridges in less than 90 minutes. Bailey Bridges are still commonly used today as temporary bridges around the world.