The Northumberland branch of the Western Front Association met on the evening of June 25 for a talk by Alastair Fraser entitled The Battle of Arras: Last Of The Great Battles Pictures.
The talk was based around the film of the Battle of Arras.
The rare and relatively unknown film was shown reel by reel and explained by Alastair, who is the early printed books programme curator at the library of Durham University.
Prior to each section he detailed the action taking place and explained the context of the scenes.
His encyclopaedic knowledge of events and the locations enhanced the viewing enormously.
At the end the talk he invited questions for discussion and many of the audience of just over 20 engaged in some interesting topics about the making of the film and also how the footage gave an insight into the conditions endure by the troops.
The filming of the artillery engagements was extremely interesting as it was not staged, as was some of the footage most frequently seen in film of the Battle of the Somme.
After the talk members enjoyed discussions over a light buffet.
The next meeting will take place on Monday, July 23, at 7.15pm. The subject will be Two Million More In Training – The Americans Arrive, and the speaker is Phil Huntley.
Meetings convene at the Alnmouth and District Ex-Servicemen’s Club and Institute, Northumberland Street, Alnmouth.
Visitors and new members are welcome. We ask for a small donation of £3, which includes the light supper.