Aldershot Army In Films From History

Aldershot Hampshire England UK
Image by Kelvin Stuttard from Pixabay

Discover vintage film of Aldershot Army days, including the popular Aldershot Army Show which has entertained visitors for many decades.

If you’re interested in the civilian side of Aldershot’s archive and vintage footage, then head over to this page.

The Troops A Century Ago

King George V Visits Aldershot – Mounted Troops Horse Artillery (1910-1919)

British Pathé. King George V visits Aldershot – Mounted troops horse artillery. Hampshire.

“Military review etc. Royalty visit Aldershot. Guards in tall black hats march down road to rt. More; w/ kilts. Then marching band. (King, Queen etc. stand at side of road.) King w. 2 other men ride up road toward camera; stop. MS King; along w/a few others inc. woman; stand (w/ backs to cam) looking at horses inside train cars – – horses going to war ?

Mounted British Army troops at Aldershot; 1910s. Cavalry riding up road & over small brick bridge toward camera. Closer same;horses walking or trotting. Horse artillery pulling wagons. More and more horses come over bridge. Dust stirred up sometimes makes haze over scene.”

“King Starts Race At Aldershot (1910-1920)

British Pathé: King George V starts a race at the Army camp at Aldershot. Hampshire. Circe 1910s.

“MS as King George V gets out of car, pan as he walks right to masses of men who are sitting on ground, they all stand up. Cut to shot of King holding up then bringing down flag to start the race. Runners come by from right – a great number of men – and all run off to left. While they’re off running the King meets several men who step up; holding their hats; bowing.”

“British Army Manoeuvres At Aldershot (1914-1918)

British Pathé:British Army manoeuvres at Aldershot. Hampshire.

“Shot of soldiers marching across field inspected by British Officer (?). M/S of soldiers sitting on and standing around vehicle which says ‘Australia’ on the front. Some soldiers are on bicycles. They wave at the camera.

WWI. Soldiers ford river on horseback at left; then ride up the bank and return over bridge on rt. Others approach from behind cam. and ford river; going in opposite direction A soldier on a bicycle rides across bridge; heading away – looks like he has rifle sticking up under his cape – which gives him an odd angular look. Another cyclist; team of horses; pulling Supplies; then a few more guys on horseback  soldiers walk off down road to left; a man (silhouette) is standing in field in BG. Next a bizarre shot of a soldier in a field of cattle; he seems to be walking w/ tiny steps.  Soldiers relax on a break; recline or sit on the ground; reading fragments of newspaper/ guy driving tractor in BG.”

Aldershot Army In The 1930s

“AV1153 26 Aldershot show

Wessex Film and Sound Archive: AV1153-26 Aldershot Show

“With its military links, Aldershot show traditionally had a strong army presence – and the opening shots of a gymnastic display are a good example of this. Interestingly mixed in with the shots of the show are some everyday scenes – a glimpse of the mundane in 1932!”  

“Cheering Children (1934)

British Pathé: “CHEERING CHILDREN – Nearly 60,000 of them at Final Rehearsal of Aldershot Tattoo.” Aldershot, Hampshire.

“Panning top shot over masses of children gathered to watch the final rehearsal for Aldershot Tattoo – it is a Children’s Day at Aldershot. Various shots of the soldiers (voiceover says 5000 of them) marching, creating various formations. Several shots of the children in the audience. Soldiers fire their guns in the air. Panning shot along the grounds – soldiers in formations.”

“Silver Jubilee Rehearsal (1935)

British Pathé: Silver Jubilee rehearsal. Infantry, artillery, tanks and other units reviewed at Aldershot. Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.

“Various shots as infantrymen march past followed by horses and gun carriages in preparation for King George V’s Silver Jubilee.  M/S as an officer marches past with a  goat who is called Taffy VI, and was presented by the King to first battalion Welsh Regiment, he is followed by two men on horses. M/S of the parade with tanks, guns and trucks. M/S of tanks in a field, M/S of soldiers sat on the ground. M/S of new wireless cars, M/S of more tanks. Intertitle – Tilshead – M/S of tanks driving through water and across the field, various shots. Note: the footage after the intertitle appears to be cuts.”

“Activity At Aldershot (1936)

British Pathé: Item title reads – Activity at Aldershot. Troops prepare for Palestine. Aldershot, Hampshire. No soundtrack.

“M/S of army cars and trucks outside Aldershot Station. The camera pans across soldiers lined up, they march away.  M/S as they get into trucks and wave as they drive away. M/S as they march down the street, M/S as they get out of trucks, M/S as they look at kit, C/U of one soldier smiling. M/S’s of the men marching and an officer looking at a list.”

“Aldershot Tattoo Rehearsal (1937)

British Pathé. Full title reads: “Aldershot Tattoo Rehearsal”. Aldershot, Hampshire.  

“British Army soldiers rehearse annual pageant at Rushmore Arena.  Various shots of keep fit / physical training drilling demonstration to military marching music.  We see the men doing exercises with poles – they swivel them like batons. Various shots of mass brass bands marching about the arena.”

“Children’s Day At Aldershot (1937)

British Pathé. Full title reads: “CHILDREN’S DAY – at Daylight Rehearsal of Aldershot Tattoo.” Aldershot, Hampshire.

“Top shots of the cheering children – 70,000 of them. Queen Elizabeth (former Duchess of York, later Queen Mother), Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret leaving a car – huge crowds cheering. Queen and princesses walking to Royal box. Children cheering. Several shots of the military Tattoo Daylight Rehearsal – some great panning shots showing the grand scale of the event.”

“Aldershot Gale Damage (1938)

British Pathé. Aldershot, Hampshire.

“Brief shot of the rehearsal for the Aldershot Military Tattoo (from story in 38/43); the backdrop is a model of  King Henry VIII’s Palace of Ardres.  We then see several shots of the scenery in ruins after a 70 mile an hour gale hit the area.  Commentator assures us that “new scenery will take it’s (sic) place, and the show will go on – the British Army is like that!””

“Muscat At Aldershot

British Movietone: The Sultan Of Muscat And Oman visits the army at Aldershot. He inspects the latest type of tanks and rides in one.

Possibly the 1938 visit?

Aldershot Army In The 1940s

“Princess Elizabeth (1945)

British Pathé. See the future queen Elizabeth II wearing an army uniform and doing vehicle maintenance.

Aldershot Army In The 1950s

“The King Honours “Red Devils” (1950)

British Pathé: ALDERSHOT – THE KING HONOURS THE ‘RED DEVILS’. Hampshire.

“SV Field Marshal Viscount Bernard ‘Monty’ Montgomery (Commander-in-Chief of Western Union Land Forces) and Brigadier Kempster waiting for the King. SV Pan King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother) arriving. Shots of gun firing salute. LV Monty greeting King and Queen. GV Troops ordering arms. 

SV Queen and officer watching presentation ceremony from dais. Various shots of King Presenting Colours and inspecting veterans of the parachute regiment with the Queen and Monty. SV King speaking to Old Comrade. CU Pan King walking down line, stops and looks at medals. MV Towards King with Monty inspecting comrades.”

“Three Of A Kind! (1953)

British Pathé. Stratford, and Aldershot, Hampshire. 

“SV. Triplets picture on mantelpiece pan down to triplets packing. CU. Mrs. Kirby hands clothing to Dennis. SCU. Mrs. Kirby hands clothes to Dennis, Allen and Brian CU. Cases being closed left to right. GV. Neighbours saying goodbye to triplets outside House. SV. Pan Triplets with neighbours. CU. Pan Ken Haywood gives three oranges to triplets. & CU. CU. Mrs. Kirby. SV. Triplet kissing Mrs. Kirby goodbye. CU. Mrs. Kirby. SV. Boys leaving home and walking towards camera. CU. Sign: No. 1. training Batt. SV Triplets in Quarter Master’s Stores receiving Kit. SCU. Kit being layed out. SCU. Storeman handing out kit. SV. Pile of kit. SCU. Sergeant counting in three’s SV. Serg. inspecting battle dress on boys. SCU. He turned them round and gazes from one to the other. CU. Serg’s head turning from one to the other. SV Three Boys in bed lights out at 6…”

“Aldershot Barracks Centenary (1954)

British Pathé: Aldershot, Hants. Aldershot barracks centenary, documentation on file compliments of Public Relations Southern Command. 

“GV’s Troops marching through Aldershot, passing the Mayor LS. Crowds on pavement. Various shots. Troops and WRACS marching past. MS. The City Counsellors in robes. CU. Unknown General saluting CU. Marching feet. MS. WRACS marching past L.S Kitchener’s Hall. CU. Garrison church notice. CU. Sign Gun Hill. LS. South African War Memorial GV. Houses of Aldershot MS. part of Duke of Wellington statue. CU. Street sign. Wellington Avenue GV. Barracks. LS. Entrance to Aldershot barracks CU. Royal Insignia V.R. Various shots the old cottages. LS. Barracks CU. Names on Barracks depicting past Wars. CU. Sign Aldershot – Home of the British Army. Welcomes careful drivers.” 

” Selected Originals – Aldershot – Atomic Rehearsal For Doctors (1955)

British Pathé: Selected originals (offcuts, selected scenes, out-takes, rushes) for story “Aldershot – Atomic Rehearsal for Doctors” – 55/31. Short section used as title sequence for newsreel story. Without superimposed title. GV. Military camp.”

“Aldershot Heath Fires

British Movietone: “Aerial shots showing the fires and smoke rising from the fires. Passengers and cars diverted on the roads. Soldiers are seen helping to extinguish the fires. Aerial of the smoke and fire.”

Possibly the 1950s.

Aldershot Army In The 1960s

“Army Cooks (1960)

British Pathé: The Army Catering Corps’ Training Centre in Aldershot, Hampshire.  

“M/S in a kitchen with lots of pots and pans in the background.  Two students in white uniforms and hats are preparing food while the chef checks the progress.  Panning shot to show two more students that he moves on to, then C/Us as he adjusts their work, and we see the food being prepared: one looks like some kind of salmon dish with salad arrangement, the next is a veal, ham and egg pie.  C/U of the student placing an egg in the centre, folding the meat into the pie and putting a lid of pastry over it.  

M/Ss of another chef demonstrating pastry techniques to two students; we then see them rolling pastry and squeezing jam into the middle of some buns.  C/U of several savoury and sweet dishes spread out on a table then tilt up to show a student, an instructor and an army officer who inspects the food, samples a piece of fruit cake then nods his approval.  

C/U of the canteen menu in chalk on a blackboard.  M/S of men in army uniforms coming into a canteen.  There is a vast array of food set out on a chrome work surface and the men start to help themselves.  C/U of the food set out in serving trays (the main dish looks like a curry or chilli con carne) as the men pass by and serve themselves.  Good C/U of a tray with a bowl of tomato soup and a plate of meat and lots of vegetables (sprouts, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower? and a few unidentifiable things!).  

M/S of an army officer and catering corps’ sergeant (?) looking on, then C/U of a rather large soldier; M/S of the same man as he moves from the savoury to the sweet section.  M/Ss of the desserts and someone helping themselves to what looks like bread and butter pudding, then the men move on.

M/S in the kitchen of senior NCOs (they are all wearing their army berets with their white overalls) being instructed as they prepare food.  C/Us of the dishes including a plate of petit fours, unidentifiable glazed exotic looking stuff, and a huge ham being decorated with a flower design.  C/Us of sergeant’s stripes on his arm (on a band worn over his overalls), and some fruit being arranged on a cake with other cakes around it on a table, then tilt up to show the men preparing food on another table in the kitchen.  M/S of an officer surrounded by men who are discussing the exotic dishes; he is inspecting a large dish of trout.  

C/U of a highly decorated lobster on a plate, then M/S of a range of dishes set out on a table before a display of silver trophies and diplomas.  The commentator says that “Those who endured the wartime days of soggy spam, sawdust sausages and unspeakable fritters smothered in ketchup, would be the first to agree that Army cooking has gone full cycle – from the ridiculous to the sublime”.  

Note: The whole feel of this film is that Army catering is now of a high standard and very modern and up-to-date.  This is nice footage of food and food preparation – most of it is haute cuisine 1960-style!  Also good shots of a self-service canteen.  There is some interesting documentation on file including a list of the names of all men shown in the film (too numerous to mention here).”

“Army Of The Sixties (1962)

British Pathé: Army of the sixties. Aldershot in Hampshire. 

“L/S Thunderbird missile. L/S A group of missiles. L/S Missile being loaded onto transport. L/S of the complete show, with crowds looking round. L/S Crowds seated. L/S Two helicopters carrying troops. L/S Viscount Watkinson, (Defence Minister with Major General Metcalfe, G.O.C. L/S Troops shinning down ropes from the helicopters. L/S Troops running across the field through smoke screens. C/U Small boy watching. L/S As a mock radar jamming station is blown up. M/S People looking up. L/S Paratroops of the 22nd S.A.S. Regiment coming down. M/S Man looking through long telescope. L/S As one of the parachutists lands. L/S Crowd.  M/S Two of the parachutists talking together. C/U One of them. L/S The army demonstrating a bridge laying machine. M/S Boys playing on a rope net. M/S Pan as mall boy swings on a rope and lets himself into a net. M/S Pan as another boy does the same. M/S Pan, boy coming down a parachute training slide. L/S Crowds of children on a tank. M/S Pan, crowds of children on a tank. C/U Boy looking into the tank. M/S Army officers watching, centre one is Major General Metcalfe. L/S and M/S Another group of boys on a tank. L/S Crowd. L/S the massed bands and drums of the Aldershot District marching past. M/S Tracking shot, drummers leading the band. L/S Tracking shot, the massed bands.”

“CONSTRUCTION OF THE ALDERSHOT MILITARY POWER STATION (16mm, c1963)

GuildfordGhost: “Fascinating and unique footage of the Military Power Station in Aldershot being built.  Reel bought on eBay. This is a new transfer of an item I uploaded before that was previously very poor quality.”

“Army Show (1967)”

British Pathé. Aldershot, Hampshire.

“Several shots of a military band marching along and playing as part of the Aldershot Army display.  Various shots of soldiers on motorbikes and horses trying to pick pegs from the ground with long poles as they speed past (commentator describes it as ‘tent-pegging’).  Another soldier climbs an artificial wall.  Men in white gymnasts gear run onto the display ground; they turn somersaults over gym apparatus and vault over each other.

This may have been a rehearsal; we do see a few shots of the crowd but the audience looks rather sparse.”

“Army Display At Aldershot (1967)

British Pathé: Location: Aldershot, England / Great Britain. 

“GV The massed bands march and counter marching. LS. Parachute Regiment sliding down rope from helicopter during demonstration of operational tactics. VS. Of paratroops manning small gun emplacements. VS. Paratroops and tracker dogs of the Tactical Dog Troop carry on the display. VS of a company operation based on operations in Borneo. The soldiers are wearing jungle green and camouflage. VS. Showing Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) portable operating theatre with the army surgeons working away under canvas with spectators watching. GV Line of regimental colours flying. VS. Young boys playing on some of the exhibits, the ‘Honest John Missile Launcher’, tank and a large gun.

VS People looking at SRN 5 Hovercraft which the army uses. MS Crowd watching. VS Gymnastic display by the Army School of physical training.”

“Underwater Hockey (1967)

British Pathé: “Underwater shots at the Aldershot Lido show frogmen sawing wood and hammering stakes, to prepare the pool for a game of underwater hockey.  Men on the side of the pool put on diving equipment and snorkels.  The referee tosses a coin and the players all jump into the pool, watched by a rather bored looking small crowd.  

The ref blows a whistle and there follows a lengthy underwater sequence where it is quite hard to see what is going on; the men seem to be pushing a puck along with little paddles.  High angle shots show the frogmen frantically scrabbling about in the water – not that interesting for spectators, though a few look more animated now.

Note: the underwater sequences are quite scratched.”

“Mini-Submarine (1968)

British Pathé: “Several shots show Explorer One, the world’s first one-man mini submarine being prepared for a demonstration; equipment is checked and a man gets into a wet suit.  Some men help him to lift the submarine into an open air swimming pool – probably Aldershot Lido.

The sub with the man sitting inside wearing breathing apparatus slowly submerges as it travels across the pool; onlookers point and take photographs.  Underwater M/Ss of the sub drifting to the bottom of the pool; it doesn’t appear to be very functional, just an open box for a diver to sit in.”

Ghanaian Paratroopers Training with the British Army Parachute Regiment in Aldershot | Sept. 1968

Adeyinka Makinde: September 1968. Footage of an advance party of 70 Ghanaian paratroops led by Lt. Colonel H.D. Twum-Barimah receiving special training from the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment of the British Army in Aldershot.

According to Reuters:

“The Ghanaians will take part in progressive parachute training, field firing and company exercises. Their training will end with a joint exercise on Salisbury Plain involving a parachute assault, armour and artillery.

The Paratroops visit is part of an exchange programme between British and Ghanaian infantry units who are training in each other’s country for the first time. “

The exercises where designed to test the Ghanaians in an air-transported move, train in unfamiliar territory and cooperate in exercises with the British Army.”

“Source: Reuters News Archive.

1. Colonel Twum-Barimah would later serve as Ghana’s Chief of Army Staff from October 1971 to January 1972, when he retired as a brigadier after the military coup led by Colonel Ignatius Acheampong overthrew the civilian government of Dr. Kofi Busia.

2. The motto of 3 PARA is “Utrinque Paratus”, Latin for “Ready for Anything”.

3. It was formed in 1941 from volunteers from various infantry regiments, but after seeing action in North Africa and southern Italy, the battalion was virtually wiped out during “Operation Market Garden” and the Battle of Arnhem. During ‘The Troubles’, it was deployed in Northern Ireland 12 times between 1971 and 2004. 

4. The most famous airbourne assault in military history was perhaps that carried out by 22,000 mostly German ‘Fallschirmjäger’ on the island of Crete in May 1941. The ferocious five-day battle ended in favour of the Axis forces (Germany & Italy) against the allied nations of Britain, Greece, New Zealand and Australia). However, each side reached a different conclusion in the aftermath of battle as to the efficacy of such a large scale assault. While Hitler determined that such assaults were too costly and lacked the element of surprise, Churchill could see the potential of using them in an offensive and defensive capacity.”

“Scorpion Tank (1969)

British Pathé. Scorpion tank. Aldershot in Hampshire.

“SV Pan new Scorpion tank past camera. SV Pan tank over rough ground. Travel shot taken from top of tank. CU Driving mirror of tank. Travel shot Over ground taken from tank. CU Tank tracks as it goes past camera. MS as tank travels over rough ground and through water. Head On of tank towards camera as it dips down into a ditch through water, and comes into full CU. SV Pan tank through bumpy ground. SV Tank toward camera through water into big CU. SV Pan tank past camera.”

Aldershot Army In The 1970s

” Official IRA bomb British Parachute Regiment HQ in Aldershot , 22 February 1972

Shane Gallagher: “The Official IRA bombed Aldershot barracks in February 1972 in what they claimed was revenge for Bloody Sunday in the Bogside, Derry on the 30 January. Only civilian workers & a military chaplain were killed by the bomb tho.  The Officials military campaign against the British Army & government ended three months after the Aldershot bomb.”

The Last Twenty Years

“Army returns to Aldershot

Manchester Evening News: 8 Oct 2009. Family and friends greet soldiers on return from Afghanistan

“Aldershot Garrison Show revived for 2011 despite defence cuts 04.02.11

Forces TV: “The Aldershot Garrison Show which was shelved because of a lack of money last year will be back for summer 2011. Its organisers are reviving it for one day only – Saturday July 2nd – after getting round the problem of widescale defence cuts by using sponsorship. The event has also been linked in with an existing careers fair that’s paid for by the MOD. Tens of thousands of people came to the last event in 2009. Now it’s hoped 2011 can be as successful.”

This video includes footage of Aldershot’s main shopping street, shoppers being interviewed, and members of the public visiting the Aldershot Garrison Show.

More pages about Hampshire

.