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War Office Official Topical Budget and Pictorial News 343-1

Proud servicemen accept awards for valour in a morale boosting late-war newsreel

Non-Fiction 1918 7 mins Silent


There's an end of war feel to this March 1918 issue of Topical Budget - then the official War Office newsreel - with four of the five stories showing servicemen receiving awards for gallantry. But the war wasn't won yet; this edition went out against the background of the German 'Spring Offensive', which briefly looked like turning the course of the war in Germany's favour. It's more likely, then, that these images of proud men enjoying their rewards were intended to boost morale when it was needed most.

This edition was distributed to cinemas on 20 March 1918. As well as the drifter patrol captains decorated by the King, it features a St. Patrick's Day medal presentation to soldiers of the London Irish regiment, French president Georges Clemenceau bestowing honours on American servicemen and the receipt by Canada's General Sir Arthur Currie of the Grand Order of the Crown of Belgium. In between is a lighter item showing the movement of horses in Egypt.