London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
This film is part of Free
All England on Ice
A group of performing Russian Cossacks pose, skate and sledge on a frozen lake in Ruislip shortly before being deported from London.
From the collection of:
Half-a-dozen Cossacks, wearing fur caps and military uniform, glare menacingly at the camera before relaxing considerably and engaging in some light-hearted frolics on the ice in Ruislip. Holding hands, a group skates towards the camera, the central Cossack flanked by boys and women. Next comes sledging, and then more straight-faced posing, while the public skates around them. The film concludes with cracking footage of an “impromptu” game of ice hockey in Oxford.
The Cossacks, who included among their number several generals that had served with the last Tsar, were enjoying a break from their ongoing demonstration of daring deeds on horseback in Holland Park Hall, where they also performed traditional Cossack music and dances. Six Cossacks were later deported by the Home Office, much to the dismay of the Russians at being labelled ‘Bolsheviks’.