The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
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Doubtless civilians would have been re-assured in 1942 had they seen this training film for the Home Guard, learning fieldcraft, positioning and close quarters combat.
Training film/TV programme 1942 15 mins Silent
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The Home Guard may have become the butt of good hearted humour, but this training film shows that they were fully rehearsed for any possible invasion. Giving detailed dos and don’ts of combat skills, such as learning how to lay an ambush, this film allows a fascinating behind the scenes glimpse into wartime preparations at home; although inadvertent humour is not absent, as with the failure to cut the barbed wire.
This is one of a series of Home Guard training films made somewhere in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Between them they cover a wide range of combat skills designed to deal with an enemy invading force. The Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) was set up in May 1940, with a plan, under General Ironside, for a war of attrition, chiefly in the south of England. Yet after the abandonment of Operation Sealion in September 1940, with the failure to cripple the RAF, there were no German plans to invade Britain. By the beginning of the 1942 Germany was fully committed in North Africa and Russia, and the forces stationed in Northern France were defensive only. The best they could muster were the retaliatory Baedeker raids of April.
Ready for the Enemy
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Government sponsored film 1941 9 mins
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Documentary 1941 10 mins Location: London
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Amateur film 1946 21 mins Location: Leatherhead
Leatherhead applauds and thanks its Civil Defence Service volunteers for their sterling efforts, in this fascinating film made during the last months of the Second World War.
Amateur film 1942 12 mins Silent Location: Clandon Park
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Amateur film 1975 7 mins Silent Location: Beverley
An atmospheric film of a dry dock, the welding of the hull, primitively held by timber supports, before the ship plunges sideways into a river.
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Documentary 1937 24 mins Silent Location: Beverley
An elaborate vision of Beverley, in Yorkshire's East Riding, from ancient times through to the 1930s.
1941 4 mins Silent Location: Beverley
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Non-Fiction 1942 3 mins Silent Location: Beverley
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Non-Fiction 1944 2 mins Silent Location: Beverley
Lines of children laden with books deliver them to bespectacled gentlemen granted the right to select those to be sent to forces abroad, and those to be pulped for recycling.
Training film/TV programme 1942 10 mins Silent Location: Beverley
A fascinating glimpse into the training of the Home Guard –learning how to hide from enemy invaders – showing that they were far from being the farcical shambles of Dad’s Army.
Charity appeal 2020 2 mins
Beautiful NHS fundraiser, setting Michael Rosen’s poem to powerful archive images.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902) Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902)
Non-Fiction 1902 3 mins Silent Location: Weston Park
A stroll in the park for civilised city-dwellers in Edwardian South Yorkshire.
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