|Title ID||1291||Collection ID||198|
|Title||[Christmas Shopping]; Surrey Women War Workers; The Path of Duty was the Path of Glory|
|Date||1922; 1917; 1914|
|Theme||Wartime and Military Early film in the South East|
|Keywords||Ceremonies Christmas Commemorative Events Farming First World War (1914-1918) Gardening Labour Landscape Memorials Motor Vehicles Shops Wars Women Workers|
|Format||16mm Black & White Silent|
|Duration||10 min. 30 sec.|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
A compilation of three separate films made in or near Godalming, Surrey during the early twentieth century. The first shows shoppers on the busy High Street in Godalming, the second shows women from the newly established Women's Land Army in 1917 demonstrating ploughing skills, and the third shows a memorial commemorating RMS Titanic’s Chief Radio Telegraphist.
The first film in the compilation shows Godalming High Street busy with Christmas shoppers. A group of men walk out of a pub and pose for the camera, smoking and laughing. There are several close-ups of individual shops such as the butcher’s, the newsagents and a confectioners. Two army officers pose outside the newsagent’s and the proprietor is also seen outside. The road is busy with traffic and bicycles; a double-decker bus stops at a bus stop and passengers board the exterior staircase at the rear.
“Surrey Women War Workers. Demonstration at Cross Farm, Shackleford”
This film shows an inter-farm competition which took place on 18 April 1917 where women from the newly established Women's Land Army in Surrey demonstrated their ploughing and farm work skills in a series of competitive matches. The women starting the ploughing match are dressed in large coats and hats, and wear numbered arm bands. The women pose with the shire horses in the farmyard. A group of milk maids from Cross Farm's dairy also pose for the camera. A large crowd has gathered to watch the event. Several scenes show the women taking part in a ploughing match in the fields, working the horse-drawn ploughs. In another field, a hoeing competition takes place where a long row of women use hoes to turn over the soil. Back in the farmyard, a crowd watches as some of the women lead horses and carts through. A woman reverses a cart into a pole barn. There is a final shot of a girl sitting on a horse bearing a Red Cross emblem.
“The Path of Duty was the Path of Glory” The final film is a newsreel item showing the opening of the memorial to John (Jack) Phillips, the ‘Titanic’ hero, in Godalming, on 15 April 1914. The crowds gather in the cloister gardens to watch the High Sheriff and Mayor unveil the memorial. Attendees include Phillips’ family, members of the memorial committee and the designer of the gardens, Gertrude Jekyll. There is a close-up of the plaque dedicated to Phillips, RMS Titanic’s Chief Radio Telegraphist, who lost his life when the ship sank in 1912.
The first two of these three films are thought to have been made by Mr W G Fudger who ran the Picture Palace on Station Road in Godalming.
Newspaper cuttings from December 1953 describe how the films were rediscovered and shown at the Odeon Theatre, Ockford Road, to an audience including the Mayor and Corporation.
It should be noted that although the title of the first film refers to Christmas shopping, there is no apparent evidence of it being Christmas in the street scenes shown.
The second film shows the members of the Women's Land Army which had been established in January 1917.
Of particular interest in the final film is the presence of Gertrude Jekyll.
Godalming 400 (1974) shows events celebrating the town’s 400 year existence. Wartime farmworkers (Second World War) are also the subject of Start a Land Club (1942).