The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

The Blitzed Cities of Bristol and Bath
The Blitzed Cities of Bristol and Bath

The Blitzed Cities of Bristol and Bath 1942

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

The Blitzed Cities of Bristol and Bath 1942

51 mins United Kingdom

This ambitious amateur colour film vividly captures the devastation wreaked on Bristol and Bath by the bombing raids of winter 1940-41. Also featured are rare glimpses of the nearby picturesque village of Chew Magna, which was barely affected. Film stock was rationed during the war and nearly all wartime footage was shot in black and white - so this film is remarkable for being in colour.

The footage was shot by a local Bristol optician, M W Dunscombe, at the request of Ernest Dennison Fear, who was born in Chew Magna in 1872 and emigrated to Kansas City in the 1890s. Fear had commissioned the film to show friends in the USA how Britain was faring in the war - particularly the impact on the village of his birth and surrounding areas. The optician-turned-filmmaker seems to have been successful in business too - there is still a Bristol optician trading under the name M W Dunscombe. Special thanks go to the Imperial War Museum's Rebecca Harding for providing further information on the provenance of this remarkable film.

Genres

War Amateur film

Tags

World War II Bomb damage

Collection

Life Under Fire

Released

1942

Country

United Kingdom

Language

English

Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

Explore
The map

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later