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Scottish Troops for the Front (clip 1)

First World War troops in training before heading for the front line

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Caption: The 5th Royal Scots who have Volunteered for the Front in training. We see the regiment practice marching at an open air canvas training camp. There is then a boxing match and a man being tossed up in a blanket. Kit is laid out for inspection outside the tent before we see a display of semaphore practice, then soldiers then wash their hands at a trough. We cut to a rope and sack game. We see the soldiers marching and their drill parade with rifles in hand before shots of the food wagon and cook house with the soldiers lining up carrying their meal trays.

Questions & Activities


  • How were troops recruited at the beginning of the First World War?
  • What is the mood of the soldiers?
  • What does this say about their expectations of war?
  • Which training activities are depicted?
  • Why was semaphore used?


Watch the footage in this film and then read the poem 'Dulce et Decorum Est'. Discuss the propaganda used to recruit soldiers compared to the feelings documented by many of the war poets. You may also wish to talk about this in connection with the novel 'Sunset Song'.

Research how many of these men were likely to have lived and died. From your local War Memorial, research how many people died from your school and town. Look at the Poppy Scotland website for further information on Remembrance and Armistice Day.

Using this film as a starting point, discuss how war and the Armed Forces are portrayed by the media today.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-205-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 1609
Date 1914
Genre Local Topical
School Subject English, History, Media Studies
Subject Matter World War 1, Conflict, Remembrance
Where Hawick
Event First World War, World War I
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 5:19
Film Length 14:19