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.
This film is part of Free
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.
From the collection of:
This training film reveals that, rather than being a bumbling ‘Dad’s Army’, the Home Guard were fully prepared in the eventuality of any invading German army. Here, hidden in a wood in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the summer of 1942, members of the Home Guard show their various, somewhat comical, skills in the art of camouflage.
This is one of three films showing the full scope of Home Guard training in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The Home Guard – formerly the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV, appropriately nicknamed ‘Look, Duck and Vanish’) – were formed in mid May 1940, when the government were concerned that citizens were arming themselves. At first there was no training, and it fell to Grimsby born Tom Wintringham to kick-start this in June 1940, applying what he learnt from fighting for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. There was also an unofficial Women's Home Defence League established illegally by Edith Summerskill MP in 1940, which trained 20,000 women to use arms. At its peak the HG numbered 1,793,000.
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.
War 1940 7 mins
Surrounded by water and manned to defend the coastline, sea forts were remote outposts of Britain’s home front.
Government sponsored film 1941 9 mins
‘ACK ACK’ is a profile of the soldiers who manned anti-aircraft positions on the home front during the Second World War.
Documentary 1941 10 mins Location: London
Ordinary men from all trades and professions lead double lives to hone their soldiering skills in Britain during the Second World War.
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
Dad's Army, Clandon-style, are at it again in this fascinating film about life in Surrey's Home Guard.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.