The sister film to The Battle of the Somme, The Battle of the Ancre was filmed between September and November 1916 and contains the first shots of tanks in use at the Front – a sequence that elicited “oohs” and “ahhs” from the opening-night spectators, many of whom had never seen a tank in action before. In between battle sequences, audiences were shown the human side of war as the British “Tommies” queued up to receive their mail and consume their food rations and fraternization between German prisoners and their British captors. Box office takings were even higher in the first three months of release than for its predecessor The Battle of the Somme, due to footage of the previously unknown tanks. The film was released in 1917.

Dr. Toby Haggith from the IWM has written about the restoration here

Composer Laura Rossi’s new score for chamber orchestra is in 5 movements, which accompanies the five parts of the film. The music depicts the varied emotions conveyed throughout, reflecting the more poignant moments as well as echoing brighter scenes of the high-spirited soldiers.

The film was screened at the Imperial War Museum with the premiere of Laura’s score performed by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra and conducted by John Gibbons.

The music has recently been recorded and the film digitally restored. This newly restored film and recorded score premiered at the BFI London Film Festival at the National Film Theatre. The DVD with Laura’s score will be released on November 20th 2017 followed by a UK tour of the film and music.

Directed by G Malins and JB McDowell
Running time 65 minutes
Scored for Chamber Orchestra; 1 Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 Clnt in Bb, 1 Bassoons, 1 Timpani/Percussion, Piano, Strings
ancre studio steve

battleancre3Ancre video clip – Dressing Station

Ancre video clip – Bombardment

Ancre video clip – Ending

Ancre music clip – The Battle

Ancre music clip – The Wounded

Ancre – Sample Score

Recording of the score for 'The battle of the Ancre"