This film is part of Free
Amateur footage showing troops on deck in a buoyant mood ahead of the landings.
The opening scene might show some stiff drinks being taken, but these troops on board the HMS Wellington look relaxed. Idling ahead of D-Day, one man performs some gymnastics for the camera, another plays with a toy train, and a third fixates on a broken umbrella. Choppy sailing conditions might have delayed the landings by 24 hours, but here the weather appears as sunny as the men's spirits.
Filmed in a state of anticipation in the two days preceding the Normandy Invasions of 6 June, we don't know the fate of the men featured here. The actual landings footage in the latter stages of the film was captured four days after D-Day - even then, the Channel still appears clogged with ships, and there are clear signs of the carnage that had taken place on the French coast.