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
Fire of London
This British propaganda film, made in 1945 for newly liberated countries in Europe, takes a positive view of British resilience during the Blitz.
Government sponsored film 1945 16 mins
From the collection of:
Filmed by the Army Film Unit, the National Fire Service and newsreel cameramen, the ‘Fire of London’ is a retelling of how relentlessly the fires burned in London, and other British towns and cities, during the Blitz. It pays tribute to members of the home services, who endured nightly raids and disruption to their daily lives to save what they could.
Originally made in sixteen different languages for liberated Europeans, the film’s defiant propaganda message serves to remind the audience of how the ‘Blitz spirit’ eventually prevailed.
Life Under Fire
Amateur film 1939 16 mins Silent Location: Littleover
An air raid could come at any moment and Derby had to be ready to deal with the casualties. The people of Littleover were so well prepapred they filmed one of their exercises.
Home movie 1940 9 mins Silent Location: Sandiacre
From their sandbagged headquarters, the Sandiacre ARP and Red Cross await their call to action.
Government sponsored film 1940 9 mins Location: London
Humphrey Jennings and Harry Watt’s famous GPO film is an enduring example of British self-mythology; a hymn to London’s resilience that helped persuade America to join the war.
Charity appeal 1939 2 mins Silent Location: Norwich
Sweet and touching wartime cinema appeal for 300,000 London children spending Christmas far from home.
Amateur film 1945 9 mins Silent Location: Southwark
Step into the aftermath of a WWII bombing raid in south London in this startling amateur film.
Public Information Filler 1939 2 mins
Matter-of-fact wartime instruction in how to fit your gas mask efficiently - leaving no margin for error.
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
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