Military parade (Vancouver, ca. 1944)

Film archivists see so much footage of parades that they can quickly lose their novelty.  However, this particular example is full of interesting and unusual sights.  It’s a wartime military parade in Vancouver, showing Canadian and U.S. troops, women’s military units, civil defence personnel, and propaganda floats — as well as tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery pieces, and examples of munitions.

The above clip consists of edited excerpts from the source film.  Some of the highlights include:

0:17        A military band –- not marching, but riding in jeeps!

0:36        American M3 Medium Tanks zip through the frame.

0:51        A large mobile searchlight, no doubt used in Vancouver’s anti-aircraft defences.

1:10        A women’s military unit, probably from the Canadian Women’s Army Corps.

1:54        Trailers bearing various types of aerial bombs.

2:02        Another women’s unit –- possibly “WDs” from the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division, or “Wrens” from the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service.

2:11         Propaganda floats with portraits of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

2:20        Banner for “North Vancouver Shipyard Workers”.  (Are they the musicians in blue coveralls in the next shot?)

2:28        ARP (civil defence) personnel, followed a Victory Loan banner.

The film ends with a very brief shot (at 2:35) of a propaganda display.  Led by a banner that reads “Do you want this?”, the display depicts “slaves” towing a chariot marked with a swastika and guarded by “German soldiers”.  (In this edited version, the shot has been repeated in slow-motion, so these details can be better seen.)

The footage excerpted here was shot by local photographer and filmmaker Thomas W. Whitefoot (1891-1986).  To see descriptions of other Whitefoot films and footage at the RBCM/BC Archives, please follow this link:  Whitefoot films

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