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.
This film is part of Free
Whilst some cultural treasures were stowed away in wartime, there was still an array of objects, artworks and experiences on offer to the public.
Documentary 1943 10 mins
From the collection of:
‘Breathing Space’ explores some of the culture activities available to both civilians and service personnel on the home front in the 1940s. During a period often associated with popular culture such as dancehalls and cinemas, notable achievements in art, literature and music were also made. This is perhaps all the more remarkable given the tough circumstances of war.
The Home Front
West Sussex Home Guard 1
Instructional film/TV programme 1941 4 mins Silent Location: West Sussex
There's a wrong way and a right way to deal with Nazi spies and fifth-columnists - as you'll see in this this hilarious colour film starring the Home Guard and various Nazi rotters.
Amateur film 1945 11 mins Silent Location: Whitchurch
The war is over at last and Victory in Europe Day is celebrated on 8/5/1945 at the Iles home in Heathwood Road, Cardiff, and with parties in Heathway and Albert Street.
Victory Day Scenes
Amateur film 1945 14 mins Silent Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
It’s all over, for Britain at least – the dreaded telegrams, the bombings, the blackouts - and Cardiffians celebrate the end of the war with tea and cake, fancy dress and bonfires.
V.E. Celebrations at Newport May 1945
Amateur film 1945 9 mins Silent Location: Newport/Casnewydd
Beautifully presented production from The Newport and District Amateur Film Society which gives a real flavour of city celebrations on Victory in Europe Day (8th May 1945).
Peace returns to the garden
Amateur film 1945 5 mins Silent Location: West Wickham
The War might be over but there's work to be done in the Lauste family's garden. So their son, Leslie, now back from active duty, helps his mum with the apples and the hollyhocks.
Documentary 1946 21 mins
Soldiers from the far reaches of the British Empire arrive in London to take part in the official commemoration of the end of war in Europe.
Pall Mall and Hyde Park Corner
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Capital scenes thanks to Victorian filmmakers
London Street Scene
Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Location: London
Vivid images of Victorian London - but where?
Foundling Hospital Sports Day
1899 2 mins Silent Location: London
A sports day gives the young residents of the Foundling Hospital a chance to let off steam
Sir George White Leaving the London Hippodrome
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Location: London
Londoners turn out in their thousands to greet the returning Boer War hero after his famous defence of Ladysmith
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - Paul - York Road - Bands
Non-Fiction 1897 1 mins Silent Location: London
The Band of the First Life Guards approaches Westminster Bridge during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
London Street Scenes
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Horse-drawn traffic on one of London's busiest thoroughfares
What's Missing from this Picture?
Advert 1946 1 mins Silent
Life is looking up! The war is over and the “Corona” Man can visit his “Corona” families once more, door-to-door.
Fun at Rhyl
Advert 1962 0 mins Location: Rhyl
Cinema advertisement for Marine Lake & Ocean Beach, Rhyl, a popular destination for crowds set on a day's fun on free rides.
Local Cinema Advertisements - Blaenau Ffestiniog and Merthyr
Advert 1942 7 mins Silent Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog
Who could deny these advertising claims: "Attractive hair is the ambition of every woman", and "Your family will enjoy Lincoln potatoes"?
Shippam's Three Beans
Advert 1955 1 mins
Operatic chickens, shrimps and salmon sing-a-long with a paste pot chorus in this vibrantly animated advert for Shippam's
Liberty Foundations Commercial
Advert 1956 2 mins Location: Market Harborough
Liberté, égalité and fraternité in corsets, girdles and bras.
Local Trader's Gazette
Advert 1930 9 mins Silent Location: East Sussex
This amazing discovery shows how cinema advertising used to look in Bygone Britain - a truly nostalgic gem of a film for lovers of Britain's past
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