OOSC Film: The Battle of the Ancre
The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks
Featuring a live score from the Orchestra of Square Chapel conducted by Robert Guy and an introduction from Laura Rossi (original composer) and Dr Toby Haggith (Senior Curator at the
Imperial War Museum), The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks (1917) is the official film of the British Army’s autumn campaign on the Somme, which ran from 15 September to 18 November 1916.
The sequel to The Battle of the Somme (1916), which covered the opening phase of the campaign (Battle of Albert) and the infantry offensive on 1 July 1916, Battle of the Ancre should not be dismissed as Somme II. Although less well known than Battle of the Somme, which did record business at the box office, Battle of the Ancre also drew big audiences and was a critical success. Many consider The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks as the better film cinematically and it contains haunting images of trench warfare, notably of the mud that beset the battlefields, the waves of troops advancing into no man’s land, the use of horses and the first views of the ‘Tank’; the secret weapon which it was hoped would break the military deadlock on the Western Front.