This film is part of Free

Bluejackets Amuse Themselves

An unusual film showing Victorian sailors larking around.

Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins


Bluejackets – enlisted sailors in the British Navy – were a very popular subject for early film. Often shown at work, drilling, exercising, marching, etc., they were also captured in moments of relaxation. Recreations seen here include putting a baby’s bonnet on a cat, dancing together, and singing a comic song. It is likely however that this happy snap of naval life is as delicately orchestrated as other more deliberately militaristic films. Propaganda with a smile?