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
Chinese in Wartime Britain
A documentary about the benefits and influences of Chinese immigration on Britain’s home front.
Government sponsored film 1944 10 mins
From the collection of:
A documentary exploring the shared benefits of Chinese immigrants living, working and learning new skills in 1940s Britain. This positive portrayal of a cultural exchange demonstrates a desire for further integration after the war, and promotes the belief that immigration will help to spread British democratic values around the globe.
Ready for the Enemy
Home Front and Home Guard - Wartime Woking
Amateur film 1938 10 mins Silent Location: Woking
Woking gears up for war in this remarkable film about the Home Guard and its contribution to the town.
Auxiliary Fire Service in Training - 1939
Amateur film 1939 9 mins Silent Location: Gospel Oak
Adorable amateur film showing the work of the Auxiliary Fire Service in Finchley with a mixture of pride and self-deprecation.
Instructional film/TV programme 1941 15 mins Silent Location: West Sussex
Should you ever need to set up a roadblock then watch this film as the West Sussex Home Guard reveal the right and the wrong way to stop the Hun in his tracks.
Kingsbury: ARP in Sandiacre
Home movie 1940 9 mins Silent Location: Sandiacre
From their sandbagged headquarters, the Sandiacre ARP and Red Cross await their call to action.
ARP: A Practical Demonstration of Nottingham Precautions
Amateur film 1938 10 mins Silent Location: Nottingham
As the nation slides into conflict, Nottingham prepares for a new type of warfare: the horrors of aerial bombardment and mustard gas attacks.
Government sponsored film 1942 23 mins Location: Bristol
A behind the scenes look at civil defence work during and after a Luftwaffe bombing raid on Bristol during the Second World War.
Drama-documentary 1937 26 mins Silent Location: London
And… Action! Workers become filmmakers in this realist drama steeped in period detail.
Pa Puts His Foot Down
Advert 1934 16 mins Location: London
Romance blossoms over a discussion of fluid flywheels in this cinema ad for BSA cars directed by Zoltan Korda.
Havant By-Pass construction, Langstone and Pook Lane
Amateur film 1964 4 mins Silent Location: Havant
Watch as the countryside around Havant disappears under the tarmac of the future M27 - with nostaligic shots of Langstone Harbour and a very leafy Pook Lane
Unveiling Eros and West End cinemas
Amateur film 1985 3 mins Location: London
Relive the 1980s in this nostalgic film from Alan Stingemore - featuring a variety of flagship cinemas, the relocation of Eros as well as a few cinemas that have since disappeared
Brighton Seaside - Airshow & Silver Jubilee in Bromley
Amateur film 1977 11 mins Silent Location: Brighton
Tony Mitchell captures a variety of events during Jubilee year - including day trips to Brighton and a bunting covered London as well as an accident at an airshow
St Faith's go to Kew for tea
Amateur film 1936 20 mins Silent Location: Brentford
Enjoy a nostalgic trip down river with members of the St Faith community - with tea at Kew, feeding penguins at London Zoo and lots of chatter - all in sign language!
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.
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