Film ID:
YFA 5214



Visitor Tabs


This film, made by G. Trafford Drayton of the Tower Cinema, York, features film covering the events surrounding the First World War as well as the unveiling of York’s three memorials dedicated to those who fought and died in the war.  The film taken during the war is expected to have come from a variety of newsreels which were most likely screened at the cinema.    

Title – G. Trafford Drayton Presents “Throughout the Years” 1913 onwards

The film begins with the trooping of the colour in Horse Guard’s Parade.

Title – 1914 – Great Britain Declares War!

Some children do a mock march along a terraced street.  They are wearing paper hats and carry swords and Union Jacks.

Then there is a kilted military band playing at a railway station.  They are followed by soldiers carrying rucksacks going off to war.  Soldiers are shown crammed onto a ship and then in trenches.  There is a long convoy of lorries which bring supplies to the front.  An officer issues instructions to a group of soldiers.  A man starts up a small aircraft by spinning the propeller (the film breaks up).  Then there are troops in the trenches again.  One of the soldiers cuts a cake with his bayonet and passes pieces of the cake to the other soldiers with him. Large canons are shown firing.  There is another convoy of vehicles.

Two women are filing at a work bench in a munitions factory, followed by men and women workers leaving the factory.  Back at the trenches a group of soldiers go ‘over the top’. A wounded soldier is carried form a Red Cross van on a stretcher to a waiting ship, with a zeppelin overhead (some film damage). (orange tint)

Title – (Tower Pictorial News) Lest We Forget – North Eastern Railway War Memorial, York

This section of the film was severely damaged as a result of nitrate deterioration.  A few frames remain which capture the large crowd gathered around the memorial.  Built by Sir Edward Lutyens, this memorial was commissioned by the North Eastern Railway to commemorate the 2,236 men from the North Eastern Railway that lost their lives during the Great War.  The way was cleared for work to start in 1923, and work was completed in 1924. The memorial was unveiled by Field Marshall Lord Plumer on 14th June, 1924.

Title – The Monument Erected in York by the Imperial War Guards Commission in Memory of the Sailors and Solders who died as the results of service during the Great War and are buried in the Cemetery

General Sir Charles Harington unveils the plaque in York Cemetery.  Adults and children gather around the Cross of Sacrifice at York Cemetery.

Title – HRH The Duke of York unveils War Memorial

On 24th June, 1925 HRH the Duke of York and the Archbishop of York unveil the memorial located in the Memorial Gardens next to York railway station.  They are surrounded by a crowd, and members of the crowd walk past the memorial inspecting the wreaths and flowers.  The River Ouse and Marygate bar can be seen in the background. 

Title – “Britons never shall be Slaves.”

Battle ships are out at sea, as well as smaller boats.  From one ship, a young sailor waves at the camera.  The film ends with a still picture of the Duke of York with a ship. (Green tint)

Title – Invincible Photo Plays