Sir Edward Carson watches a machine gun drill and presents colours at Drumalis, Larne.
This fascinating newsreel depicts events around the infamous Larne gun-running episode. This was a major operation that took place on the night of 24 April, 1914. Here we see Ulster Volunteers demonstrate their freshly-smuggled bounty, one man proudly displaying a machine gun mounted in the back of a motorcar. A detachment of men with rifles and ammunition belts drill in a field. At the close, Edward Carson presents colours in front of a large gathering.
Drumalis House in Larne was central to the attempt to bring guns to ‘Carson’s army’, the Ulster Volunteer Force. The operation involved the smuggling of almost 25,000 rifles from the German Empire, with the shipments landing in Larne, Donaghadee, and Bangor in the early hours between Friday 24 and Saturday 25 April 1914. In its scale and ambition, the Larne gun-running represented the high-point of the Ulster Volunteer Force's activities and is notable as perhaps the first time in history that motor-vehicles were used "on a large scale for a military-purpose, and with striking success".
This film was digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project.