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Gordon Highlanders

Soldiers marching before leaving for the Boer War in 1899

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A kilted pipe band leads a contingent of the Gordon Highlanders along Aberdeen's Union Terrace as they head off for army barracks in Edinburgh, before boarding ship for a tour of duty in the Boer War. The film features shots of soldiers marching and others controlling the mischievous boys amongst the cheering crowds. This film is a local topical film attributed to Walker's Cinematograph - Scotland's first film production company.

Questions & Activities


  • Why does the young boy get walloped?
  • What war were they heading off to?
  • Why did so many people turn out to see them off?
  • How long did the war last and who won?
  • Who made this film and where was it shown?


Music: Create a drumbeat for the soldiers to march to and add it to the film.

RME: Discuss the issue of corporate punishment and whether it should have been removed from schools.

History / Citizenship / Modern Studies: Research the causes of the Boer War and find out what happened to the Gordon Highlanders during their tour of duty. Compare their experiences to those of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-087-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0449
Date 1899
Genre Local Topical, Newsreel
School Subject History, Modern Studies, Music, Religious and Moral Education, Social Studies
Subject Matter Citizenship, Early Cinema, Victorians
Who Walker's Cinematograph (production company)
Where Aberdeen
Event Boer War
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 1:01
Film Length 01:01