This Australasian Gazette newsreel from approximately 1917 shows the first shipment of Red Cross supplies leaving Federal Government House, Melbourne for soldiers in Egypt. Men form a chain to transport boxes of supplies down stairs and load them onto a vehicle. The horse-drawn vehicles then leave the depot. Summary by Elizabeth Taggart-Speers.
This newsreel was shot on black-and-white 16 mm film. As the newsreel is silent, a title card introduces the newsreel and describes the footage that follows it.
Newsreels were an integral part of cinema programming in Australia before the advent of television in 1956. Issued on a weekly basis, the newsreels enabled people to further engage with local and national political stories and events.
This newsreel captures an important part of the Australian Red Cross’s function during the First World War. Red Cross activities expanded dramatically by the Second World War, but even at the time this newsreel was made, crucial supplies shipped overseas for soldiers included care parcels, clothing and medical supplies.