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
Ordinary men from all trades and professions lead double lives to hone their soldiering skills in Britain during the Second World War.
Documentary 1941 10 mins
From the collection of:
‘Citizen’s Army’ is an insight into the training of the Home Guard; a volunteer force established to help defend Britain against a much feared Nazi invasion. Many of these men would have been kept back from the armed forces due to their age, and instead of going to the front, volunteered in large numbers to receive military training in anticipation of one day being called to action.
This propaganda film shows how new recruits were drilled in skills such as grenade throwing and enemy evasion, often by men with experience of fighting in previous conflicts. The Home Guard also undertook guard and observation duties, helping to relieve some of the burden from the British Army, who were stretched by their commitments overseas.
The Home Front
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.
Government sponsored film 1943 11 mins
Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.
Government sponsored film 1942 8 mins
The wartime potato shortage is addressed in this marvellous film from 1942 - exhorting workers and school children to lend a hand on local farms by joining Land Clubs.
Government sponsored film 1941 8 mins
Welcome to an obscure but delightful corner of film history where Masterchef, rationing and surrealism meet public information films.
Home movie 1941 26 mins Silent Location: Pudsey
Forget the war; life goes on in West Yorkshire, with weddings and family days out, the lively Pudsey Carnival and, on the eve of the Battle of Britain, an overflowing Ilkley Lido.
V.E. Day May 8th & 9th 1945 – Thanksgiving Day May 14th 1945 V.E. Day May 8th & 9th 1945 – Thanksgiving Day May 14th 1945
Amateur film 1945 10 mins Silent Location: Gateshead
You can almost hear the cheers in this gorgeous silent film of VE day celebrations on the red, white and blue decked streets of Gateshead
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Capital scenes thanks to Victorian filmmakers
Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Location: London
Vivid images of Victorian London - but where?
1899 2 mins Silent Location: London
A sports day gives the young residents of the Foundling Hospital a chance to let off steam
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 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.
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Horse-drawn traffic on one of London's busiest thoroughfares
Drama 2020 21 mins
A young Palestinian woman crosses the Israeli border illegally to find her long-lost brother, who she hopes will be her ticket to a new life.
Charity appeal 2020 2 mins
Beautiful NHS fundraiser, setting Michael Rosen’s poem to powerful archive images.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
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