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
From the collection of:
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
Home Front and Home Guard - Wartime Woking
Amateur film 1938 10 mins Silent Location: Woking
Woking gears up for war in this remarkable film about the Home Guard and its contribution to the town.
Auxiliary Fire Service in Training - 1939
Amateur film 1939 9 mins Silent Location: Gospel Oak
Adorable amateur film showing the work of the Auxiliary Fire Service in Finchley with a mixture of pride and self-deprecation.
Instructional film/TV programme 1941 15 mins Silent Location: West Sussex
Should you ever need to set up a roadblock then watch this film as the West Sussex Home Guard reveal the right and the wrong way to stop the Hun in his tracks.
Kingsbury: ARP in Sandiacre
Home movie 1940 9 mins Silent Location: Sandiacre
From their sandbagged headquarters, the Sandiacre ARP and Red Cross await their call to action.
ARP: A Practical Demonstration of Nottingham Precautions
Amateur film 1938 10 mins Silent Location: Nottingham
As the nation slides into conflict, Nottingham prepares for a new type of warfare: the horrors of aerial bombardment and mustard gas attacks.
Government sponsored film 1942 23 mins Location: Bristol
A behind the scenes look at civil defence work during and after a Luftwaffe bombing raid on Bristol during the Second World War.
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.
Historical Pageant Procession, Beverley through the Ages; July 10th 1
Documentary 1937 24 mins Silent Location: Beverley
An elaborate vision of Beverley, in Yorkshire's East Riding, from ancient times through to the 1930s.
Helping to Buy Beverley's Spitfire
1941 4 mins Silent Location: Beverley
The Battle of Britain may be over but the war over the skies continues, and so the people of Beverly crowd the Market Square and dig deep to buy one of Britain’s greatest war assets.
Collecting Books for the Forces
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.
RAF Beverley Scenes
Non-Fiction 1942 3 mins Silent Location: Beverley
New young recruits are seen here showing their colours at the height of the war, marching through the town of Beverley, preparing for the battles ahead.
Wings for Victory 1943
Non-Fiction 1943 7 mins Silent Location: Beverley
A chance to judge the mood of a typical English town, four years into a deadlocked war, as we witness the bearing of service men and women marching through the streets of Chapeltown.
Hovis: Boy on the Bike
Advert 1974 1 mins Location: Shaftesbury
A classic slice of British advertising history, though that hill's not as Northern as it looks...
Workforce of Parkgate Iron and Steel Co., Rotherham (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 3 mins Silent Location: Rotherham
Edwardian workers react to the camera at one of Rotherham's major employers.
Workforce of Ormerod's Mill, Great Moor Street, Bolton (1900)
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Silent Location: Great Moor St, Bolton
Eager youngsters burst out of the gates of a Victorian cotton mill.
The Henley Regatta
Sport 1901 1 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
It's the first weekend of July 1901, and high society are on the Thames
Advert 1898 1 mins Silent Location: St Pancras
An unusual farewell in this charming early film
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins
The magic of a real solar eclipse filmed by a famous magician
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