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The film shows the review of the Auckland Contingent of the Main Body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) by Hon. James Allen, Minister of Defence on Saturday 19 September 1914. This is confirmed by illustrations showing the parade in Auckland Weekly News, September 24, 1914, p. 42. (See also reports on pages 17 and 65.) The paper reported:

‘The weather was glorious, and there was a large attendance of the public. The inspection took place in the Alexander Park enclosure, but as the parade ground was some distance from the grandstand, most people preferred to stand by the rails, nearer to the scene of operations. At the saluting base a space had been roped in, and here a large number of officer’s wives and civilians were seated. The march past made quite an imposing spectacle, and called forth the hearty applause of the onlookers.’

The cameraman has positioned himself alongside the saluting dais and filmed the march past. ‘The first to pass the saluting base were the mounted squadrons, under Major Chapman: they marched past in column of troops. Then follow the [Auckland] Infantry Battalion in column of platoons, under Lieutenant-Colonel A. Plugge. Following on came the Motor-cycle Corps, the Army Service Corps, in line, under Captain H.G. Reid, and the Field Ambulance Company, under Lieutenant-Colonel C M Begg, in column of sections.’

The film featured at the MacMahon’s Queen’s and Princess Theatres in Auckland, together with two other topical films relating to the Auckland Contingent of the NZEF. These were. “SAMMY, MY OLD FRIEND SAM,” the Manx Collie presented by Mrs Joe MacMahon as a mascot to the New Zealand Army Service Corps’. (Mrs Joe MacMahon was the wife of the theatre proprietor, Mr J F MacMahon.) The second film was ‘THE MOUNTED RIFLE REGIMENT PASSING DOWN QUEEN STREET.’ There is a surviving film clip of the Auckland Mounted Rifles marching down Queen Street without their horses on what seems to be a wet Auckland Day, whether this is the film referred to, is not known. (‘Amusements,’ Auckland Star, September 21, 1914, p.10.)

This is a very important film as it shows the state of training of the NZEF after six weeks in camp and is the only surviving film to show the full equipment of the original Main Body NZEF before sailing for war in October 1914.

Note by Chris Pugsley

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Year 1914

Reference number F38469

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Actuality

Duration 0:02:10

Production company Dominion Pictures Theatres Company Limited

Credits Camera: [Charles Newham ]
Camera: [Frank Stewart]

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