This film is part of Free
From Trinidad to Serve the Empire
Colonial recruits from Trinidad meet the Lord Mayor of London during WWI
Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent
These Trinidadian soldiers are only a handful of the 15,600 men of the British West Indies Regiment who served in WWI. Having volunteered or been conscripted, many such soldiers saw active combat. Devastating casualty numbers meant Britain needed all the help from the Empire it could get, and yet despite their willingness to serve 'the mother country', many recruits suffered discrimination while on service. The ranks here are scrutinised by the Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Dunn, outside Mansion House.
Before WWI, British colonial troops had been used for imperial defence, but during this truly global conflict the BWIR joined Allied forces on the front line in Palestine and Jordan, as well as performing auxiliary duties in France, Italy and Egypt. The men who formed the 11 battalions of the Regiment came from Caribbean nations including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and the Bahamas. Officers also came from the pre-existing West India Regiment, originally formed in 1795.
Documentary 1946 21 mins
Soldiers from the far reaches of the British Empire arrive in London to take part in the official commemoration of the end of war in Europe.
Entertaining Soldiers After the Raid
Non-Fiction 1917 0 mins Silent
Keep calm and carry on - these East End schoolkids dance to lift the spirits of Kiwi troops
Canada at War
Documentary 1940 18 mins
In 1940 the war still seemed distant to US citizens. But what it was like for the 11 million ‘other Americans’ who were already at war? The March of Time cameras go north of the border to Canada to find out.
Tours in Southern Bengal - In the Sunderbans
Amateur film 1935 12 mins Silent
Everyday life and places of interest around the areas of Midnapore and Chittagong, including steamers and Indian boats along the Damodar river.
British News No. 53
Non-Fiction 1941 15 mins
Indian soldiers in Singapore, while their compatriots are trained in the manufacture of war munitions
Ghana - New Nation
1957 14 mins
It's smiles all round in this snapshot of postcolonial Ghana, born from the British imperial territory of the Gold Coast
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.