Public Domain / mediadrumworld.com

By Ben Wheeler

NOSTALGIC footage showing how London used to be almost 100-years-ago has resurfaced this week.

The video, which dates from 1918, records some of the capital’s most famous landmarks as well as documenting the day-to-day lives of Londoners.

Public Domain / mediadrumworld.com

 

It was filmed some months before the end of World War One by American traveller, Elias Burton Holmes, who documented many of his journeys abroad, later holding lectures and screening films to paying audiences.

Among the landmarks, many of which were captured as a moving image for the very first time are iconic buildings such as the Houses of Parliament, Windsor Castle and Tower Bridge.

Public Domain / mediadrumworld.com

 

Others include St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and Downing Street which interestingly was then unprotected as opposed to the big black gates we are accustomed to it hiding behind today.

The class gulf of London is also shown in the footage as working-class people are seen amidst the hustle and bustle of one of the city’s many markets.

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On the other hand, later in the film a small group of well-groomed and finely dressed Eton schoolboys are larking around outside the famed college.

The video ends with a packed-out stadium at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club, somewhat bemusedly watching what was then the unfamiliar game of baseball between members of the US army and US navy.

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Among the attendees seen on camera at the event were King George V and Sir Thomas Lipton, of Lipton tea fame.

Things weren’t as rosy in London in 1918 as they perhaps appear in the video.

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With the war still ongoing, the capital was subject to bombings during the early part of the year.

In addition, the year also saw 20,000 policemen in London go on strike over pay, whilst over 2,000 people died in the city due to Spanish flu in the latter part of 1918.

Public Domain / mediadrumworld.com

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