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

Wartime Harvesting
Wartime Harvesting

Wartime Harvesting 1944

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Wartime Harvesting 1944

5 mins United Kingdom

This nostalgic film shows how even in wartime, gathering in the harvest was of prime importance. However, there's little automation to be seen apart from the odd tractor and a reaper-binder machine in operation. Otherwise, the harvest is gathered in by hand. Men gather the sheaves and stack them on horse-drawn carts while children try to help. Then it's time for some family relaxation after which a barrage balloon is seen gently descending in the pastoral landscape.

This film from the late summer of 1944 shows harvesting scenes in Otford, Kent, which is close to the present-day M25. At that time, Otford would have been directly under the flightpath of the V1 flying bomb, one of Hitler's terror weapons. The V1 campaign began a week after D-Day, June 6th, and was countered by, amongst other things, hundreds of barrage balloons suspended above the Kent countryside. It is one of these balloons which can be seen floating down to earth in the film.

Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.

Genres

War Home movie Amateur film

Tags

Agricultural machinery Horses Farming Barrage balloons Family Harvesting Agricultural workers

Collection

Dig for Victory

Released

1944

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