This film is part of Free

Anzac Day

London's at a sombre standstill as both ends of the Empire mark wartime casualties.

Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent


The devastating scale of a conflict which sucked in the whole Empire was becoming apparent by 1916. This sombre newsreel marks the anniversary of the terrible massacre at Gallipoli. Troop after troop of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) marches past the camera in this single-shot footage, adding detail to a historic remembrance event. Police halt traffic, and one man climbs a lamppost for a better view.

The Westminster throng which populates this scene is dense, but it's restrained, too: there's little animation beyond the steady procession of the soldiers, and the odd wave of a hanky. During WWI, the newsreel balanced mostly morale-boosting war-related stories with a menu of amusing diversions. But this solemn, sustaining shot shows that the likes of Topical Budget - soon to become the official War Office newsreel - could just as effectively achieve a tone suited to tragedy when called for. The Anzac troops at Westminster Abbey were commemorating the more than 11,000 of their compatriots who died following the Allied landings at Gallipoli in Turkey on 25 April 1915.