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
Comedy 2014 16 mins Location: London
Geeky Pavan takes his 'English Rose' on a date to the most authentic Indian restaurant in the city. To his horror she goes off-menu, in Hindi...
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
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent Location: London
Horse-drawn traffic on one of London's busiest thoroughfares
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1936 8 mins
Spoiler alert! The fox is always going to outsmart the hounds in this delightful, balletic cartoon that heads from the countryside into 1930s suburbia.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1936 9 mins
Carmen get your cartoon opera fix in this (very!) loose version of Bizet’s classic tale of romance and treachery.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1909 4 mins
Toy Story meets Fatal Attraction in this tale of an Edwardian childhood romance scuppered by poor finances and a stalking dolly
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1940 8 mins
Who does he think he’s kidding? This parodic day-in-the-life portrait of Mr Hitler is one of the very few British examples of comic cartoon propaganda from WW2.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1919 10 mins Silent
Remember when Charlie Chaplin went into space? Reality is no obstacle in this endlessly inventive silent cinema cartoon of the 'Little Tramp'
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1925 6 mins
1920s canine icon Bonzo the Dog tests the Entente Cordiale to the limit in this silent British cartoon
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