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

Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps

Royal Observer Corps 1941


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Royal Observer Corps 1941

7 mins United Kingdom

Founded in 1925, the Royal Observer Corps were a volunteer organisation, trained to monitor the sky from observation posts around Britain. Their great value to the home front’s defence is clearly outlined in this film, which also outlines the various steps involved in aircraft identification and reporting.

Established between the wars, the Royal Observer Corp was able to supplement Britain’s early warning radar system, by providing extra detail about sighted enemy aircraft and V-weapons. Their observer posts had direct contact with the Group Centres, who would in turn inform the RAF fighter stations of aircraft types, numbers and positions. They worked well in conjunction with radar, which was not always efficient at detecting low flying aircraft.

The IWM Film Archive is the oldest film archive in the UK, holding over 20,000 hours of film, video and digital material and covering the two World Wars and all conflicts involving British or Commonwealth Forces since the start of the Twentieth Century to the present. Our collection also reflects aspects of civilian life in wartime, military life in peacetime, military exercises and operations.


Government sponsored film


World War II Spectators


Ready for the Enemy




United Kingdom



Read lessRead more
Part of

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

The map


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