This film is part of Free

Bombing BFD (Bradford) Cricket

A film of two halves, beginning with the citizens of Bradford wandering through a city centre ravaged by the bombs of the Luftwaffe, and then enjoying a leisurely game of cricket.

Non-Fiction 1940 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


After the long Phoney War, the reality of the Second World War comes home as 120 bombs fall on the city of Bradford on the night of the 31st August, 1940. The people of Bradford carry on as normal as they walk past the blasted shops, with just some stopping to inspect the damage. Yet not even this can stop a local game of cricket featuring the unmistakeable and legendary figure of Yorkshire and England bowler Bill Bowles.

The attack on Bradford on the 31st August, 1940 was one of many attacks on ports, radar stations, airfields and cities before the daily bombing campaign known as The Blitz. Fortunately, although Lingard’s store was destroyed, and 10,000 windows shattered, with 100 injured, there was only one fatality. The audience at the Odeon cinema had just left when a bomb landed in the stalls. There was no county cricket for the duration of the war, though county players would turn out for local teams in ad hoc games. The game in the film may possibly be a friendly between a team from the Bradford League and a Yorkshire 11 including Bill Bowes and Herbert Sutcliffe, who at the time was a member of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.