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
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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