This film is part of Free

RAF Wings For Victory

In 1943, Cambridge take part in Wings for Victory fundraising week, a national scheme to raise funds to pay for more RAF bomber aircraft, in support of the war effort.

Amateur film 1943 3 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


"Wings for Victory" fundraising weeks were the nation's salute to the Royal Air Force. The equivalent of Warship Week, almost every town took part, with the intention to raise funds for new aircrafts. Here, in Cambridge, civilians take part, lining the streets to watch a parade of the Home Guard and servicemen, amongst others, including weapons displays: Lewis Machine Guns, Northover Projectors, and Mobile Spigot Mortars (commonly known as the Blacker Bombard).

Footage captured by amateur filmmaker Trevor Spittle, who was a Cambridge University Don. He and his family stayed in Cambridge throughout war. The Home Guard was made up of men who were otherwise ineligible for military service, usually due to their age, and was intended as a secondary defence force in the possibility of German invasion. There were some 1.5 million local volunteers who served during the conflict. Arming the Home Guard proved problematic as issuing weapons to regular forces was the priority and so WWI rifles were called for, and other weapons were stolen from museums or privately owned ones used. This explains the makeshift range of weapons demonstrated in the film.