This film is part of Free

Health in War

The young, old and infirm are evacuated from Blitz-hit cities in this moving testament to Britain's wartime organisational prowess.

Government sponsored film 1940 13 mins


These moving scenes were filmed while Hitler's Luftwaffe was wreaking havoc on many of Britain's towns and cities. Amid the turmoil, frail and elderly patients are transported from built-up areas to country schools and stately homes which have been requisitioned as hospitals, while name-tagged children stand in neat lines at railway stations awaiting evacuation.

The film was intended to boost public morale on the home front and is certainly testament to Britain's organisational prowess in a time of crisis. The NHS would not be established until 1946, shortly after the war ended. Director Pat Jackson cut his teeth working as production assistant on British documentary movement classics such as Night Mail (1936), and went on to direct a spate of documentaries before his acclaimed debut feature Western Approaches (1944). This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.